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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Friends, family mourn former Bishop Carroll basketball player

BY JOANNA CHADWICK
The Wichita Eagle

Kathleen Duling's future was all right before her.

She had recently declared her major at Pittsburg State University (exercise science), she had made plans to walk on to the Pitt State basketball team and was about to start a job working at a camp there.

On Thursday, Ms. Duling, 19, died in a two-vehicle accident in Greenwood County.

"We were all very proud of her," her father, John, said Friday. "The good Lord just wanted her."

The Kansas Highway Patrol said Ms. Duling was eastbound on U.S. 400 three miles east of Beaumont when the accident occurred at 11:17 a.m.

Investigators said she was trying to pass another eastbound car when she lost control of her car and collided with a westbound semi. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

That Ms. Duling had recently decided to play basketball again is understandable considering her love for the game.

She played varsity all four years at Bishop Carroll and was an All-City League selection in 2010, her senior season.

"Basketball was her game," John Duling said.

He fondly recalled the many times he and his daughter would shoot hoops together.

"We did that ever since she was a little girl," he said.

Every Sunday the Duling family would head to the YMCA and play basketball. Her siblings — Maeve, John-John and Shannon — all played high school basketball. Shannon played at Kapaun Mount Carmel, while the others played at Carroll.

"She was just a happy little girl," John Duling said. "And she was just always wanting to get into adventures, always doing something like a little girl. She wasn't a little girl, but that's what she's doing."

Ms. Duling seemed a quiet, soft-spoken sort on first meeting.

"She's quiet, unless you get to know her," said Tish Nielsen, Carroll's president. Nielsen said her son, Zach, had been friends with Ms. Duling for years.

"She was funny," Tish Nielsen said."... She just had a great sense of humor.

"She was a good friend to the kids.... She enjoyed life."

Reach Joanna Chadwick at 316-268-6270 or jchadwick@wichitaeagle.com.

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