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Printy is Big Ten’s best

BY EVELYN LAU | MARCH 03, 2010 7:30 AM

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At 15, Jaime Printy became the youngest player in Iowa history to orally commit to the women’s basketball team.

She didn’t even expect to play her freshman year. But because of teammates’ injuries, she played. And she excelled, garnering the title of Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

“It’s obviously a great honor to have and a great award to have,” Printy said. “But I just want to keep on winning and keep our season going. But I mean, it does feel good to be on that list with all those great players.”

As a standout at Linn-Mar High School, she earned first-team all-state, all-conference, all-district, and all-metro honors for three years, and she became the Mississippi Valley Player of the Year her senior season.

However, as highly touted as she was, Printy wasn’t initially guaranteed playing time at the start of the season.

Instead of wilting from the pressure, she put together a statistically stellar freshman campaign, warranting a Big Ten Freshman of the Year award and a unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten Freshman team.

The 5-11 guard joins a list consisting of former Hawkeyes Lisa Becker (1984), Franthea Price (1987), Tiffany Gooden (1995), and Megan Skouby (2006).

Printy also became Iowa’s all-time freshman leader in points with 436 and made 3-point field goals with 71 in a season.

Starting all 29 games and averaging 15 points and 4.1 rebounds — and shooting 39.7 percent from behind the arc — Printy deserves the award, head coach Lisa Bluder said.

“It wasn’t surprising to me at all, but I’m glad to see everyone else respects her so much because it was a unanimous decision,” the 10th-year coach said. “I think that makes it nice that they didn’t have to debate about it. Everyone knew and recognized that she was the best freshman in the league.”

Penn State coach Coquese Washington complimented Printy during the Big Ten teleconference on Tuesday.

“She helps fill a void that was created by the seniors that graduated last year,” Washington said.

“She’s aggressive. She attacks the basket as well as shooting it from the outside. I think she’s just playing with a lot of poise and confidence all season long."

Despite the impressive accomplishments, though, Printy’s modesty is what stands out the most to her teammates. Even after finding out she had won the award, she kept mum at first.

Freshman center Morgan Johnson said junior Kachine Alexander broke the news to her.

With the close friendship between the two freshmen, Johnson said, she couldn’t be more happy and proud of her teammate.

“Jaime deserves it more than anybody I could possible think of,” Johnson said. “She just has tremendous love for the game, and I think that shows in the way that she plays.”


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