It’s not every day that a freshman walks into high school ready to be assigned the toughest varsity defensive assignment night in and night out.
But Annalise Pietrzyk did it.
2023 5’8 G Annalise Pietrzyk
Pietrzyk, a newcomer to Providence Catholic High School, began her first year of varsity basketball with the maturity of an upperclassman, painting an exciting picture for the three years of high school basketball that lie ahead. “When I think of Annalise, the word that comes to mind is ‘warrior’. She gives her coaches and teammates everything she has, rises to the toughest of challenges, and competes until she can’t physically compete anymore”, said Annalise’s long-time trainer and current M14 Director of Girls Basketball, Ryan Haun. He added, “when Annalise steps on the court for a workout, a practice, or a game, she takes her responsibilities extremely seriously and doesn’t stop until her job is complete.”
Annalise isn’t your typical freshman. In the words of her varsity coach, Eileen Copenhaver, “Annalise doesn’t carry herself as a true freshman because of her toughness, skills, basketball IQ, and willingness to play hard on every possession”. Though Annalise is an asset as a perimeter scorer, she doesn’t hover beyond the arc as many players her age do when faced with bigger, older, and more physical competition. Rather, Annalise looks for opportunities to attack the rim and finish through defenders, and she’s a vicious offensive rebounder who consistently creates second chance opportunities for her teammates. While she spends most of her time playing off-the-ball because of the threat she presents defenses as a perimeter sharp-shooter, she regularly looks to lead the fast break after forcing turnovers or securing rebounds on the other end of the floor.
However, it’s her defense that impressed her high school coach the most this past winter. “We consistently assigned her the other team’s toughest scorer to defend… we are looking forward to three more years with her defensive toughness”, said Coach Copenhaver.
Annalise’s recruitment is only just beginning, but as college coaches begin to build their lists of prospects to watch in 2023, the freshman with a 4.5 GPA who contributed to all facets of the varsity game and earned All-Area recognition before she was even old enough to drive a car is one to track closely.
Now, allow us to introduce you to Annalise in her own words:
As you think ahead toward your ideal college situation, what factors are most important to you in picking a school? What are you looking for in a school and basketball program? I’m hoping to find a program that encourages strong work ethic in each member of the team, and I’d love to play for a relatable coaching staff. I also love to play the game, and I hope to play somewhere where I can contribute throughout my collegiate career to help my team win games.
From your perspective, what are your greatest on-court strengths that you will bring to your future college program? My greatest on-court strengths are being able to see the whole floor and having a high basketball IQ. Not only do I make it to the rim to score, but I also see the open person and help lead my teammates to scoring. Another one of my strengths is my defense. I pride myself in my defense because it’s something anyone can do, but it takes hard work. Only the players willing to work play good defense.
During this coronavirus-inflicted “shelter-in-place”, which aspects of your game are you working to improve? And how are you being creative with your workout routine? During this quarantine, I have been working on my ball handling most, while still getting shots up and working on my finishing moves. I also have been just plain working out to stay in shape. I have been finding new workout plans on YouTube, as well as new ball handling videos to enhance my ball handling.
If we asked your teammates what their favorite part about playing alongside you was, what would they say? I think my teammates would say the energy I bring to the court and the pick-me-up attitude I provide when someone makes a mistake. Additionally, I think they would also say my never-give-up attitude, because if there’s ever a loose ball, I’m the first player diving on the floor to get it.
During this time in which college coaches cannot travel to watch you play live, what’s one thing you’d like for those coaches to know about you? I’m not afraid of hard work. I will never give up, I will always look for opportunities to learn, and I want to improve to become the best player that I can possibly be.
Interested in learning more about Annalise?
Additional film, academic information, and other recruiting updates are available to college coaches upon request. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.