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Printy looking to end Hawkeye career on high note

BY MATT CABEL | FEBRUARY 28, 2013 5:00 AM

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Jaime Printy’s journey is coming to an end. It began in 2006, when Printy became the youngest recruit in Iowa women’s basketball history to orally commit to the program. Thursday night — seven years after that commitment — Printy will walk out onto Mediacom Court for her Senior Night.

Printy and senior classmates Morgan Johnson and Trisha Nesbitt will play their final regular-season game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena against Indiana at 7 p.m. today. “It is coming to an end, whether we like it or not, which is kind of sad,” Printy said. “At the same time, it’s been such a fun four years. I just have to remember all the great things and enjoy these last couple of weeks, months.” 

Printy has been an integral part of the program since her freshman year, when she was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. She earned numerous accolades her sophomore year when she became the youngest player in school history to score 1,000 points and was named to the second team All-Big Ten coaches’ selection. Printy also garnered an honorable mention spot on the Associated Press All-American team. She has also led the team to three of its five-consecutive NCAA Tournaments.

“We’ve really grown together,” Nesbitt said. “We know each other so well, and I think that’s been helpful for us on the basketball court and also to help lead this team.” Printy was sidelined for most of her junior season after an ACL tear she suffered against Wisconsin, but she still led the team in scoring, steals, and free-throw percentage. Printy worked hard in the off-season and was able to come off the bench in the team’s season-opening win against Northern Illinois.

“She’s definitely got that competitive nature and that fight,” Nesbitt said. “She’s never willing to give up on a game.” But Printy has struggled with her shot as the season nears its end. In her last three games, in which Iowa is 1-2, Printy has scored a combined 11 points. In the two losses prior, she scored a combined 37 points.

She remains calm, confident, and composed, though. She believes in herself and has the support of her teammates and head coach. “To be honest, I don’t even think about it,” Printy said Feb. 22nd. “My stats might show I’m struggling, but my shot feels good. You just have to keep shooting and not worry about it.”

Bluder said saying goodbye to Printy will be especially emotional because the two have a special connection. Bluder and Printy were neighbors while Printy was growing up in Marion, and both are alumni of Linn-Mar High. “We went to the same high school, we lived on the same street two houses away from each other,” Bluder said. “We’ve had so many similar life experiences that we’ve always had a special bond because of that. It definitely will be emotional.“

Printy isn’t playing for personal accolades or for a glossy box score after each game — she wants her team to earn its sixth-consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, and as a result, play more games in Carver-Hawkeye. “I want to end on a high note,” Printy said. “I want to get a couple more wins and make the NCAA Tournament. We have every other year, and I think going out on that note would be ideal.”


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