With the exception of the teams in the NCAA men’s and women’s Final Four, the collegiate basketball season has come to an end.
This season, both of Penn’s basketball programs saw some excellent success, and some crushing defeat. The men’s team endured two particularly devastating losses to Princeton: one for the Ivy League title, and one for the chance to return to March Madness. The women’s season mirrored that of the men's — crushing back-to-back losses to the Tigers to end its hopes of an Ivy Championship.
But all of that is in the past, and some good news has come for both teams at the start of the long offseason. Women’s basketball coach Mike McLaughlin and senior guard Kayla Padilla, along with junior guard Jordan Dingle of the men’s team have all recently received awards for their success during the season.
McLaughlin has been coaching women’s basketball at Penn since 2009 and has won an outstanding four Ivy League Championships during that time. The latest title to join his long list of accolades will come in May, as McLaughlin is set to be inducted into the Father Judge High School Hall of Fame. McLaughlin was one of Father Judge’s most prolific players, having led the team to the Philadelphia Catholic League (PCL) finals in multiple seasons.
As for Padilla, the Red and Blue women’s basketball program would not be the same with her at its helm. Averaging nearly 18 points per game, Padilla was the spark that often propelled the offense for the Quakers. On Wednesday, she was named to the All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Second Team for her achievements in a season where she earned a unanimous first team All-Ivy Team selection. The All-ECAC team features some of the best players in the country. Padilla also concludes her time as a Quaker holding several school records, including Penn's all-time three-point mark with 210.
Perhaps one of the greatest scorers in Penn men’s basketball history, Dingle continues to impress season after season. He was recently named to the All-ECAC First Team after averaging 23.4 points per game this past year. Dingle's outstanding performance in 2022-23 also earned him ECAC Player of the Year. Dingle is fresh off an Ivy League Player of the Year selection earlier this month as well. Penn’s premier guard finished second in the country in points per game and was once again a unanimous First Team All-Ivy selection. It will be exciting to see how Dingle will build on his impressive resume going forward.
Overall, in a season full of ups and downs for both programs, McLaughlin, Padilla, and Dingle served as dependable bright spots in every game. Their consistency has been deservedly rewarded, and they'll surely leave a lasting legacy in the Penn basketball atmosphere.