By Josh Brown
TOLEDO — For Halee Printz, the strangest part of graduating was not playing basketball competitively for a brief while.
That doesn’t mean she stopped working, though.
The former Tippecanoe High School girls basketball star — who broke many of the Red Devils’ school records over the course of her illustrious career and led the team all the way to the Division II regional championship game during a stellar senior year — has spent her time since the season ended preparing for her freshman season as a D-I college basketball player at Toledo University.
“I’ve been working my butt off,” Printz said. “We got packets from the team that told us what we needed to work on before the school year started. Conditioning three days a week, lifting weights two days a week. And every day I put up roughly 400 or 500 shots. So I’ve been keeping up with everything.”
Printz, the Devils’ only senior on a team that went 27-1 last year, set Tippecanoe’s all-time career scoring and assists records with her performance last year. She crossed the 1,000-points mark for her career in the second game of the year, she broke the all-time assists record on Senior Night against Northwestern and she broke the all-time scoring record in the team’s regional semifinal victory over rival Kenton Ridge.
She also posted a triple-double, the first of her career, in a midseason victory over the Cougars, a win that gave Tippecanoe a season sweep over Kenton Ridge and paved the way for the Devils’ first outright Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division championship since Printz’s freshman year in 2012.
The Devils — who had been ranked No. 2 in the state poll all season long — reached the regional championship game, their first since 2009 as well. They fell to top-ranked and eventual state champion Alter, their only loss on the season.
Once that game ended, Printz was not on the basketball court facing an opponent again.
“Yeah, it’s definitely been weird,” she said. “Even AAU basketball was done, so it’s been really weird not playing basketball. I feel like I haven’t played a basketball game all year.”
But that didn’t keep Printz off the court or out of the gym, as she knew she had plenty of work to do before leaving for college.
And since she’s been at Toledo, she’s been working even harder.
“It’s been good, but it’s different getting used to everything,” Printz said. “Every day I get up at 4:15 a.m. and am in the locker room by 5:30 a.m. I have two classes three days a week, and study tables have started, too. It’s been crazy. We’ve even had a couple of practices already. We get 30 hours in the summer.”
And as the season draw closer, Printz will get to enjoy another new experience.
“We’re going to England and Spain early in August,” Printz said. “I’m excited. I’ve never been out of the country before.”
The team will spend time in London, England, as well as Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain, playing a pair of exhibition games as the NCAA allows one foreign trip every four years for each program. The Rockets will also get 10 practice days leading up to the trip — meaning more work for Printz and company.
Printz still hasn’t decided what her major will be. For now, she’s getting used to collegiate life and preparing for something she knows inside and out — basketball season.
“I like it a lot,” Printz said. “Everything’s going pretty well, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.