It’s impossible not to be thankful for Penn senior guard Alyssa Baron, a player who helped orchestrate a nearly improbable turnaround over the course of her four-year career.

Credit: Michele Ozer

T hank you.

Thank you for being the team that never quits.

Thank you, for being a team that goes 0-2 and doesn’t panic even after a bad loss to an inferior opponent and a marginally better loss to the second best team in the nation.

Thank you, for reminding me that defense wins championships. Sixty points will forever be the mark by which I will measure the quality of future college basketball games. I never realized how fluidly a press could switch to a man-to-man, and hold the Ivy’s third best team to less than 40 points.

Thank you for hitting some timely three-pointers, setting tough screens, drawing some key charges and grinding out results — in short all the little things that you need to win.

Thank you for honoring Alyssa Baron in her hometown of Coral Gables, Fla. with a win. I’m not sure her hometown has seen her throw in step-back buzzer beaters. I’m not quite sure it has seen that teardrop floater that has become a staple of winter weekends at the Palestra. I’m not quite sure it has been treated to the magic of a thrilling Ivy win, but I know now that at least it has seen its girl win in-person in college.

Thank you, Meghan McCullough, for making the team go and for taking care of the basketball and dropping dimes left and right.

Thank you Jess Knapp, Jourdan Banks and Brianna Bradford for always being positive even when things were definitely not positive. It takes humble and selfless players to help a team turn around and build a champion, and while you may not get a ring or an Ivy sweatshirt, to not mention your sacrifice and effort would be a disservice to what you have meant to this program.

Thank you coach McLaughlin and the rest of the coaching staff — coach Day, coach Laukaitis and coach Cassidy — for letting me sit in on practice, talking to me on a daily basis and making my job much, much easier than you could have made it. It speaks volumes of your professionalism and commitment to helping your team improve in every aspect, even reacting to a tough DP article.

Thank you for losing by 31 points to Princeton at home. It only made March 11 that much sweeter.

I’ve had the privilege of covering this team for four years and I can’t believe the transformation that has taken place. In many ways it’s the same, and in many of ways it’s totally different.

Thank you for representing the Red and Blue proudly for all Penn basketball fans to see.

Thank you for making sure that I can proudly tell fellow Penn alumni I saw one of the greatest seasons in Quakers’ history.

Most of all, thank you for a season to remember and a wonderful four years.

You have a fan for life.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.