Oct. 18, 2012
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The brace that adorns University of Iowa women’s basketball senior Jaime Printy’s left knee is a daily reminder of the last eight months of rehabilitation, but it has also come to be her best friend.
Printy, one of three seniors for the Hawkeyes, along with Trisha Nesbitt and Morgan Johnson, is working her way back from an ACL injury that she suffered against Wisconsin on Feb. 2, 2012. The knee brace gives her stability as she works to get back to 100 percent and into the Hawkeye lineup.
“At first it is kind of a bummer having to wear a brace,” said Printy, a three-time All-Big Ten selection. “But then you get used to it, and it becomes your best friend.”
Printy says it’s hard to gauge how close she is to being 100 percent, but she knows she has taken steps forward since the first day of practice.
“I expect to suit up and help the team in any way I can. It is difficult, but I have to be smart about it and not rush back into it. Whatever happens will be the right thing.”
Senior guard Jaime Printy
“I am back on the court scrimmaging and doing almost full practices, so it is really coming along,” said Printy. “Every day I get a little more confidence, both physically and mentally, in my knee, and that’s going to be huge this year.”
Coming off her second ACL surgery, UI head coach Lisa Bluder didn’t know the time table she could expect for Printy. She knows now that she is elated to be able to coach No. 24 every day in practice.
“I’m thrilled that I get to come to practice every day and she’s on the court in a uniform because after going through two of those, you never know,” said Bluder. “She is trying so hard, and I admire her so much. Sometimes it’s coming back mentally, as well as physically, from one of those, and she’s doing a very good job approaching both aspects.”
Printy admitted that some doubt crept into her mind the first time she took a hard fall during practice, but once she got up and dusted herself off, everything was OK.
“I had my first fall the other day and that was kind of scary,” said Printy. “Once I got past that every day is better and better. I have been able to get to the rim a couple of times in the past couple of practices, and it feels great.”
A major part of Printy’s game during her three-year career has been keeping defenders off balance with the threat to drive hard to the basket. She has made a living at scoring easy layups, getting fouled and going to the free throw line or draining a long 3-pointer.
Printy has used that offensive repertoire to score 1,409 points in her Hawkeye career. She has a 40.1 percent field goal, a 35.8 percent 3-point and an 87.7 percent free throw percentage.
Bluder doesn’t see anything changing.
“There are some things we’re taking away from Jaime, but that’s not one of them,” said Bluder. “We want her to still attack the basket. That’s part of who Jaime is. People can’t play her tight all the time because she can get around them and people can’t play her soft or she’s going to shoot the 3-point shot. Her ability to get to the basket is definitely a part of her offensive weapons.”
Printy wants to help the Hawkeyes win in any way possible, but she knows she can’t over extend herself too quickly.
“I expect to suit up and help the team in any way I can,” she said of the season-opener against Northern Illinois on Nov. 9. “It is difficult, but I have to be smart about it and not rush back into it. Whatever happens will be the right thing.”
The Hawkeyes open the season Friday night at the Black & Gold Blowout beginning at 8 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.