SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Hailey Diestelkamp is Division Two’s back to back player of the year, she holds eight Drury basketball records, and just two weeks ago she was undefeated and aiming for the team’s first national championship.
Recently, though, she has enough trouble just finding a court to play on.
“Since the season has kind of ended, this is the first time I’ve played basketball since,” Diestelkamp said. “With a lot of things closing down, it’s kind of hard to find a gym or find a basketball.”
On this day, Diestelkamp was out of retirement and back on the court helping come up with drills so Lady Panthers at home can stay in shape.
Lady Panthers that just a couple weeks ago were her teammates.
“I think I’m almost over it,” Diestelkamp said. “I think I’ve really thought about the memories these last three weeks of the bus rides, the fun times, the locker room. I think that’s what I’m going to just hold on to forever.”
When it comes to those memories, Diestelkamp has no shortage to reflect on.
Over four years, her class claimed four straight GLVC titles, a career record of 128-8, and a perfect senior season record of 32-0.
And on top of all the team accomplishments, she racked up plenty of individual school records as well:
Drury All-Time Scoring Leaders
1. Hailey Diestelkamp (2016-pres.) 2,321
Drury All-Time Rebound Leaders
1. Hailey Diestelkamp (2016-pres.) 1,101
Career Field Goals
1. Hailey Diestelkamp 902
Career Free Throws Made
1. Hailey Diestelkamp 446
Single Season Scoring Leaders
1. Hailey Diestelkamp (2018-19) 758
2. Hailey Diestelkamp (2019-20), 692
Single Season Field Goals
1. Hailey Diestelkamp (2018-19) 300
1. Hailey Diestelkamp 53
2. Hailey Diestelkamp 43
3. Hailey Diestelkamp 42
4. Alice Heinzler 41
T5. Hailey Diestelkamp 37
T5. Hailey Diesetlkamp 37
Field Goals – Game
1. Hailey Diestelkamp 21
It’s almost more than a freshman coming in from Owensville could ever dream of.
“I never thought it,” Diestelkamp said. “There have been many times in Coach (Molly) Miller’s office I’ve come in and said I’m not good enough. She said if you just put your mind to it, keep practicing, keep working, you’re going to be a great player. I took those words and I kind of thrived off of that. I think that’s what really pushed me to be the player that I am today.”
That player she grew into impacted Drury in ways far beyond just the stat sheet.
“Her work ethic, her dedication to this program, she could have had her choice of any mid-major,” Drury Head Coach Molly Miller said. “But I think the fact that she chose Drury to come compete and win championship after championship.”
If you ask Diestelkamp, Drury means just as much – if not more to her as she has meant to the school.
“Drury is a special place from the coaches, my friends, the professors,” Diestelkamp said. “I think the professors are more upset that this is all over than anything. The campus is amazing and so I have no regrets of choosing Drury.”
While her time at Drury may be over, her impact on the game may just be getting started.
“Yeah, I really want to coach,” Diestelkamp said. “I think I’m going to start looking into that. But I really haven’t closed any doors. I think the right thing will come around when it does.”