by Ed Beach
For the second year in a row, Drury forward Hailey Diestelkamp has been named the NCAA-II Player of the Year by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
Diestelkamp is the first player to win the national award in back-to-back seasons since Kari Daugherty from Ashland won the honor in 2012 and 2013. Hailey is also just the third player in the history of Division II women’s basketball earn back-to-back Player of the Year awards from the WBCA.
Earlier this year, the senior from Owensville, Missouri, was named the 2020 Midwest Region Player of the Year, and was the Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year. In addition, she has won First Team All-American honors by the WBCA and was a First Team All-Midwest Region selection by the Conference Commissioners Association.
Diestelkamp averaged 21.6 points per game, 7.4 rebounds, shot .522 from the field, and 2.8 steals per game this season. She became the first player in team history to surpass 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds, and Diestelkamp’s 2,321 career points led all active players in Division II at the end of the year. She is Drury’s all-time leader in scoring and rebounding in addition to being fourth all-time in steals.
Diestelkamp set a team and GLVC single-game scoring record with 53 points in the final home game of her career against Rockhurst on Feb. 29. She managed to score in double-figures in 30 of Drury’s 32 games, and she notched 12 double-doubles last season. Diestelkamp was named the NCAA-II Player of the Week twice during 2019-20 in addition to earning MVP honors in the GLVC Tournament for the third year in a row as she helped the Lady Panthers to their fourth consecutive conference title.
Drury finished the season undefeated at 32-0, won the GLVC championship, and they are the number one ranked team in NCAA-II.