Lumberjacks’ Danielson looks to help on and off the court

The Cloquet freshman point guard was recently nominated to attend the National Congress of Future Medical Leaders at the end of March.

Cloquet freshman point guard Quinn Danielson was recently selected to attend the National Congress of Future Medical Leaders. Jamey Malcomb / Pine Journal

Quinn Danielson spent Friday, Feb. 26, much as she’s spent many days since last March — working at the counter separating the kitchen from the living room at her family’s home.

Danielson, an honor student at Cloquet High School and a point guard on the basketball team, was recently selected as a delegate to the National Congress of Future Medical Leaders March 20-21. The event, which is virtual this year, is an honors-only program for high school students interested in becoming a physician or going into the medical research field.

The purpose is to “honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country interested in these careers, to stay true to their dream and, after the event, to provide a path, plan and resources to reach their goal,” according to a news release.

“I have always loved children — babies especially,” Danielson said. “When I got this opportunity, I thought it was really amazing that I could branch out and see different types of technologies in the medical field, professions and medical leaders right now.”

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Danielson’s goal is to one day work in a neonatal intensive care unit.

“I would love to help families and have their children grow and be able to survive — since they’re so little,” she said.

Matt Winbigler, Danielson’s science teacher, wasn’t aware she had been selected for the program, but said she is always prepared and ready to work in class. Further, he was impressed that she was already thinking about her career at such a young age.

“Quinn admitted to not knowing exactly how she wants to see her future career unfold, which I thought was a very mature way to think about it,” Winbigler said. “Many ninth graders have trouble even considering a path forward as to what they may do so it’s a testament to her devotion to learning that she’s exploring ideas so early. I’m sure that this opportunity will open many doors for her.”

Quinn Danielson (31) of Cloquet controls the ball near Anessa Davis (24) of Barnum during the Lumberjacks' win Jan. 19. (Clint Austin / File /

Danielson’s hard work and commitment extend from the classroom and onto the basketball court. A point guard, she said one of the things she enjoys about the game is helping her teammates score.


What’s more, Danielson’s Minneapolis-based Amateur Athletic Association team, the Minnesota Stars, won the state championship two years ago.

“I love seeing other people succeed — it’s really cool when you can help your teammates,” she said.

Cloquet coach Heather Young said Danielson, even as a freshman, has begun developing into a nice player. Danielson is smaller than other players, but she has developed a quick release on her shot and her dedication has earned her some quality minutes playing for the varsity squad this season.

So far, she’s averaged seven points a game, and Young expects her role to grow as she gains more experience on the floor.

“It does not at all surprise me she was nominated for this award,” Young said. “She is so dedicated in so many areas to whatever she decides to participate in. She’s a joy to be around, she works hard and she wants to get better ... All of those things that you look for in your athletes, Quinn is becoming one of those.”

At home, Danielson said she loves spending time with her friends and family. Also an aspiring baker, she said her biggest challenge was making a multi-tiered cake recently.

Her mother, Katie, said Danielson has helped out during the pandemic by cooking dinner several nights a week and even helping her sister, Dru, with school during online and hybrid learning brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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