Two area players concluded their college basketball careers this season.
Senior Hailey Diestelkamp (Owensville) concluded her run at Drury University, as did graduate student Ronnie Suggs (Washington) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Others found playing time on the court this winter as well, including Fontbonne University’s men’s players Gus Kleekamp (St. Francis Borgia Regional), Jared Woodcock (Sullivan) and Cody McKinney (Sullivan) and Rockhurst University women’s player Cassidy Moss (Borgia).
Diestelkamp had incredible success in her final season at Drury, leading the Panthers to an undefeated 32-0 record.
The Panthers ended the season ranked No. 1 in the nation in NCAA Division II, won the Great Lakes Valley Conference and Diestelkamp was named the 220 Midwest Region Player of the Year by the Division II Conference Commissioners Association.
Diestelkamp ended the season with 2,321 career points, leading all active Division II players.
Among her numerous accolades for the season, Diestelkamp was a All-Midwest Region first-team selection, a second-team Academic All-American, the GLVC Tournament Most Valuable Player, GLVC Player of the Year, a unanimous selection to the GLVC’s All-Conference first team, a NCAA Division II Academic All-District honoree, twice the NCAA Division II Player of the Week and five times the GLVC Player of the Week.
In 32 games this season, Diestelkamp averaged 21.6 points and 7.4 rebounds. Over the course of the season, she added a total of 89 steals, 78 assists and 13 blocks.
Playing for his third NCAA Division I program, Suggs concluded his collegiate career with the Salukis after previous stops at Bradley and Mizzou.
The Salukis went 16-16 this season with a 12-3 home record and a 10-8 mark in Missouri Valley Conference play. Southern Illinois entered the conference tournament as the No. 5 seed and were knocked out by Bradley prior to the cancellation of the NCAA postseason due to concerns related to COVID-19.
Suggs started 26 games for the Salukis, averaging 24.5 minutes per game and often drew the toughest defensive assignment.
He scored an average of 5.3 points with 2.9 rebounds per game, putting through 15 three-pointers and adding 22 assists, 12 steals and two blocks total.
Suggs transferred from Bradley, where he was recruited with a full ride, to Mizzou to walk on for Head Coach Cuonzo Martin and the Tigers. After sitting out the 2017-18 season, Suggs played a role for the Tigers during the 2018-19 winter and earned his way into a scholarship from the program.
The Griffins went 14-12 overall and 12-6 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Kleekamp and Woodcock both received Academic All-Conference honors.
SLIAC all-academic selectees were required to have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or greater, be at least a sophomore in academic standing and have spent one full season at their institution.
Woodcock and McKinney both played in all 26 games.
Woodcock, a junior guard, was the team’s second-leading scorer on the season at 11.4 points per game, adding an average of 4.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per night. He shot 31.4 percent from three-point range.
McKinney, a freshman, averaged 5.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 41.9 percent on triple attempts.
Kleekamp, a sophomore, played in 18 games and averaged 7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
Moss saw playing time in eight games this season at Rockhurst.
The Hawks posted a 10-18 record and went .500 (8-8) on their home floor.
Moss averaged four minutes per appearance, scoring 1.8 points with 0.8 rebounds per game.