Addison Hirschman took a minute to figure it all out. This moment was not going to happen again.
The Kingsley-Pierson High School graduate was on the court Saturday for the South Dakota State Jackrabbits as her team came close to winning the Women’s National Invitational Tournament at Frost Arena in Brookings, Dak. South, above Seton Hall.
Hirschman was a senior appearing in her 27th game of the season and was able to be on the court with teammates Tylee Irwin, Myah Selland, Haley Greer and Lauren Rongisch.
Although the four seniors have been on the same team for several years, this was the first time that all four ladies were on the pitch at the same time.
“It was fun to walk in there and be taken to a standing ovation, it brought tears to my eyes,” Hirschman said Tuesday. “Frost Arena has always been super special, and it’s the people who make it super special.”
The Jacks, according to Hirschman, struggled with injuries and personal issues early in the season.
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On top of that, the Jacks entered the Summit League schedule with a 6-7 record, which included three straight losses to Northern Iowa, Missouri State, and Kansas State.
The Jacks knew they were better than their record showed, despite the absence of some of their key players.
Hirschman collected her season-high points during that run, which she scored eight on Dec. 15 against Dakota Wesleyan.
However, SDSU turned the tide by winning 17 of 18 conference games. His only loss was at South Dakota and then he lost to USD in the Summit League title game.
After their last non-conference loss to K-State, the only team SDSU lost to was the Coyotes, who reached the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time in program history.
“Ending our season with a win meant so much,” Hirschman said. “It brought us so much joy because of how close we were and everything we’ve been through. We have grown throughout the year. We could have given up at the start of the year, but we made it something special.
Hirschman knew his role. It was, basically, to be the big sister of the team.
She knew she wasn’t going to play a lot of talent in front of her, so the former Panther knew the best way to contribute was to be loud on the bench and be someone to lean on. On the ground.
She wanted to be positive and someone a teammate could approach with any concern.
“I think that’s been my role for four years here,” Hirschman said. “I’m someone the girls can count on with a laugh or someone they can trust. I think I was a good teammate. »
Hirschman said she learned this while playing for coach Nicole Goodwin at KP. Goodwin taught Hirschman how to be a good leader, and she never forgot those lessons.
“Playing basketball for Kingsley-Pierson and Coach Goodwin, I think what helped me so much here was how she taught me to be a good person,” Hirschman said. “I think it’s really helped me in my role here at South Dakota State.”
Johnston also noticed Hirschman’s leadership.
“Addison has always been a fantastic leader and teammate,” Johnston said. “She was someone who stayed even. When our team faced adversity, she was a rock. She always had a positive outlook on things and our team reacted well to that. I think the teams who are successful have to have a bit of everything. Not everyone will be able to play. To have a successful team, you need someone like Addison. She intends to be a great leader and have a good attitude.
Hirschman scored 29 points in his senior season, with his final field goal coming in the Jackrabbits’ WNIT win over Ohio on March 17.
She also brought home 10 rebounds and four assists.
In the future, Hirschman will move to Sioux Falls to start a nursing school in the state of South Dakota on the campus of the Southeastern Technical Institute.
“You can’t be unhappy with how you finished here, but it’s bittersweet,” Hirschman said.