SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As Missouri starts to re-open, athletes are getting back to training themselves.
In other cases, they’re training others.
“I think it’s just awesome that these kids want to come out, get better and it’s always just a great time to see the smiles on their face,” Drury Women’s Basketball alumna and reigning NCAA Division II player of the year Hailey Diestelkamp said.
Diestelkamp graduated one week ago from Drury, the place she spent four years setting basketball records.
Now, she’s already preparing the next generation of potential Lady Panthers.
“They were asking where all my teammates were and I think there’s some future Lady Panthers in the camp, yeah.”
This Friday, she was at Redline Athletics in Springfield holding a clinic for kids getting back to training.
For the aspiring coach, it’s a way to give back.
“I love working with the kids. I love kind of giving back to the community. That was my biggest thing: giving back to the community that’s given me so much.”
But if these kids want to meet the bar Diestelkamp left, they’ll have to add Paragon award winner onto the to-do list.
This week, the Owensville native split the honor – given to the GLVC female athlete of the year.
“It was an honor. I was at the conference last year. I just wanted to kind of do that. I’m blessed and I can’t say thank you more to anyone.”
She’s the third Drury athlete to receive the award joining her former Coach Molly Miller, now the coach of Grand Canyon University.
“I’m not surprised. I knew it was coming. She deserves it. She can’t stay at Drury forever. That’s kind of how coaching is. You kind of have to build your way up. She, I think, hit the highest mark you can in D-II. She was at her peak and so I think it was time for her to move on. She did and I’m proud of her. I’m proud of the coaches that went with her. I think she’s going to do really well there.”
Now the Lady Panther reins have been handed to Amy Eagan, and Diestelkamp can’t wait to see what she accomplishes.
“I’m so happy she got it. I’m so glad she did. I think I kind of saw it kind of brewing after she came to Drury. I was like, as soon as Molly leaves I think she’s gonna get it. I’m glad she did. She’s such an awesome person. She’s very personable. She loves the girls. She’s gonna do really well with that program. She’s gonna take off running right where Coach Miller left it.”
As for Diestelkamp, the future is still uncertain.
“I’ve got a lot of options that I’m still kind of weighing out and nothing is official until it’s official.”
So for now, she’ll keep on training future net cutters for her Alma Mater.