NCAA Division II Player of the Year in HD

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 4/8/20

BY will johnson

sports editor

wjohnson@wardpub.com

 

Leading Owensville Dutchgirl basketball to the 2016 MSHSAA Show Me-Showdown as a senior, Hailey Diestelkamp was looking to lead …

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NCAA Division II Player of the Year in HD

Posted

BY will johnson

sports editor

wjohnson@wardpub.com

 

Leading Owensville Dutchgirl basketball to the 2016 MSHSAA Show Me-Showdown as a senior, Hailey Diestelkamp was looking to lead her Drury Lady Panthers towards an NCAA Division II National Championship nearly two weeks ago in Birmingham, Ala.

Those hopes were dashed thanks to the coronavirus right before the start of the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament back in mid-March to be hosted by Drury University.

Helping DU to a fourth-consecutive Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Tournament Title, Diestelkamp was named the NCAA Division II Player of the Year by two organizations.

First off, she was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NCAA Division II Women’s Players of the Year for the second straight season.

She became just the third player in NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball history to win two straight Player of the Year awards.

Back-to-back award recipients along with Diestelkamp include the University of North Dakota’s Jenny Crouse (1997-98, 1998-99) and Ashland University’s Kari Daugherty (2011-12, 2012-13).

In addition to being selected the Division II Women’s Player of the Year, Diestelkamp and DU teammate Daejah Bernard were both named All-Americans

Diestelkamp was selected to the All-American First Team while Bernard earned Honorable Mention All-American honors.

In addition to being named Player of the Year for all of NCAA Division II Women’s college basketball, Diestelkamp was selected by the Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) as the Ron Lenz NCAA Division II Player of the Year.

The D2CCA’s Player of the Year awards are named after Ron Lenz who spent nearly 30 years as the Sports Information Director at South Dakota State.

Not only was Diestelkamp honored as an All-American for her efforts on the court, her hard work and dedication in the classroom also netted her more honors.

She was named a Second Team Academic All American by the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA).

At the top of eight statistical categories in DU women’s basketball history, Diestelkamp has hands down forever left her mark on the Springfield campus.

Finishing 128-8 in her DU career, Diestelkamp left Springfield as the Lady Panthers’ all-time leading scorer with 2,321 points in addition to the school’s all-time leading rebounder grabbing 1,101 boards.

Other career marks now owned by Diestelkamp include field goals with 902 along with free throws made connecting on 446 shots from the charity stripe.

Throughout her storied DU Lady Panther basketball career, she also set single season and single game marks.

During her junior season, Diestelkamp lit up the nets for 758 points followed closely in her recently completed senior season with 692 points. Those are the top-two single-season scoring marks in Drury women’s basketball history.

Making 300 field-goal attempts as a junior, Diestelkamp is number one all time at Drury in that category.

In scoring during a single game, Diestelkamp has four of the top five spots locked up highlighted by her 53-point effort against Rockhurst at the end of February earlier this winter.

Two years earlier, Diestelkamp recorded another career high against the Lady Hawks.

Only this time, it was on the glass.

Pulling down 20 rebounds on the road in Kansas City, Diestelkamp recorded her best game on the boards.

Next is a 43-point outburst against William Jewell the day after Valentine’s Day during her senior year on the road in Liberty, Mo.

Closely behind that is a 42-point offensive showcase during her junior season in the annual Highway 13 cat fight against Southwest Baptist University (SBU).

Nearly two months after dropping 43 points on their Highway 13 rivals in the SBU Lady Bearcats, Diestelkamp achieved another historic feat.

Taking on the University of Indianapolis back on Jan. 10, 2019, Diestelkamp recorded her lone career triple double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 steals.

Those 10 steals also proved to be a career-high for the former Dutchgirl and now Lady Panther.

Following a 41-point game from Alice Heinzler, Diestelkamp has the fifth spot to herself with a pair of 37-point offensive clinics.

Both of those came during her senior season with one in early January at home against Lindenwood and the other later in the month on the road in Kentucky against Bellarmine’s Lady Knights.

It would go without saying that No. 34 will likely end up in the rafters at DU’s O’Reilly Family Event Center much like it was hanging one summer at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., which is the home of the Volunteers.

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