The beginning of the season felt different for Anna Dier
“Coach (Sarah) Bronk made the joke that I was one of the healthiest people on the court,” Dier said. “That was very rare for me.”
As Green Bay was battling the injury bug early on, the red-shirt junior found herself in an unfamiliar position for the Phoenix… on the floor.
“It was really exciting getting to be on the court playing basketball,” Dier said. “That’s ultimately what I want to do is just play the game I love, so I was really happy to be back.”
The former high school state champion tore the anterior cruicate ligament in her left knee as a junior at Algoma. Then tore the same ACL as a freshman at GB, and a third time while she was nearly done rehabbing nine months later.
“Everybody saw the amount of work she put in and not once did she ever complain about it,” said Phoenix head coach Kevin Borseth. “Most kids would snivel or complain and cry, this kid had gone through it three different times. I’ve got a picture of her still with all of her goals. This is where she’s at and this is what I’m going to come back and play.”
Then just as Dier earned a starting spot and was averaging career-highs in minutes, points, and rebounds, the unthinkable happened last month in a game at Marist.
“Couple of minutes into the game I pivoted, and I just knew something wasn’t right.”
A visit to Dr. Pat McKenzie revealed the all too familiar news. For the 4th time in five years, Dier had blown out her knee. There was just one thing different this time.
“I never would have expected it was going to be on my opposite leg,” Dier said after tearing her left ACL the previous three times.
With that Dier had to call it a career. While she admits that she wonders what her potential could have been, she doesn’t have any regrets.
“I got three semesters so obviously that’s much different than most athletes,” Dier said. “But I wouldn’t change my experience. Obviously I would have rather not had the injuries, but I’m happy I chose the program that I did and I did as much with it as I could.”
Dier also says coming to Green Bay and being with her teammates gave her friends for life. Her hard work in the classroom has also prepared her for the next chapter in life. Already with an undergraduate degree in three years, Dier is now pursuing her Master’s degree and a job as a teacher.
Just don’t think she’s given up on the game she loves, either.
“I definitely want to coach. I know that’s going to be part of my future because I always want basketball to be part of my life in some way.”