Thank you Sammy Prahalis for four wonderful years as the point guard for THE Ohio State women’s basketball team. You are going to be missed!!!
As Sammy starts her next phase of basketball in her life with the Phoenix Mercury, she’ll playing with arguably the best in the game in Diana Taurasi. We revisit my article from February 16th. Then a recap of her career and what she’ll mean to the Mercury. Thank you to Grant Edgell for the artwork.
If all you ever knew about Ohio States starting point guard was that she was the only player in tOSU women’s basketball history to score 1,000 points and give out more than 700 assists? It would probably be more than enough. One things for sure, she has definitely given a great lesson in point guarding.
Sammy stepped in as a freshman and let people know she was serious. She went on to become the B1G freshman of the year and set a new freshman assists record with 203 that season. Prahalis also led all B1G freshmen in scoring at 10.2 points, assists at 5.8, and steals at 1.9 per game.
Her sophomore year would be even better as she became just the second player since the 1999-2000 season in D1 to average 16 ppg and 8 apg. During her run that season she set a school record with 48 straight made free throws and set a new tOSU single season assists record with 289. She was the B1G leader and second in the nation with her 8 assists per game average. Finally, she set a new tOSU NCAA tournament record with 13 assists against St.Francis and finished as a unanimous first team all-conference selection.
Her junior year saw her accomplish a rare feat for a PG. Against Northwestern that season she picked up a triple/double 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. Sam finished the 2010-11 season with another 7 games in double-doubles. She became the all-time leader in assists at tOSU with 707, which she accomplished with her 11 against PSU last February, breaking the old mark held by Jamie Lewis. Sammy accomplished it in 93 games – 24 games faster than Lewis.
Points: …………..42 vs Minnesota (2/23/12)
FG: ……………….10 at Michigan State(1/9/10)
FGA: ……………20 (2x) at Syracuse(12/11/10)
3FG: …………5 (2x) last vs. Michigan(1/27/11)
3FGA: ……………….. 12 at Syracuse(12/11/10)
FT: ……………………..12 at Minnesota(2/14/10)
FTA: …………….. 14 vs. Sacred Heart (3/21/09)
Rebs: ……….. 8 (2x) last at Michigan(1/29/09)
Assists: ……………..15 vs. Oklahoma(12/5/10)
Steals: ………………………………5 (several times)
Blocks ………………………………1 (several times)
Minutes: ……45 vs. Michigan State(2/21/10)
This season saw her finish in some pretty good company on many career lists. She is the fourth highest scorer in Ohio State history. Her 133 games played are just short of the 136 played by fellow WNBA starter Jantel Lavender. She finished her career 7th in school history in field goals made, 5th in three points made, and sixth in steals in a career.
Not to mention her 901 assists is by far the best in Ohio State history. There is no doubt she set the standard at the point guard position for the future.
Katie Smith has gone down as the all time greatest to don the scarlet and gray for the women and set the standard for which players of today are expected to perform. It’s no coincidence that she has been on staff as the player development assistant. She’s been a nice addition to the staff and you can see a little bit of her in the way Sammy plays the game. It was just the right time that a coach come along that really understood how the PG is supposed to work, and had the ability to teach the position well.
No one will ever be able to deny number 21 her spot in Ohio Sate women’s basketball history. She plays with a passion that goes unmatched and has the toughness to accomplish her goals for this team. She has become a great leader for the Buckeyes that has changed its identity for the better after losing Jantel Lavender to graduation and the WNBA. Sammy will be the key to the team’s success during the remainder of this season and will be missed when she moves on after the season ends.
If you get a chance and would like a lesson in point guarding, be sure to take in a game with the Lady Buckeye’s before the season ends. You’ll find it’s a great and enjoyable learning experience. Because, honestly – she really is a lot of fun to watch.
Thank you Sammy!!!
In the Pros
Sammy finished her season as the B1G POY and finished as one of only two players to have career points of 2,000 and at least 900 assists. She was selected to the AP All-America Second Team and was a finalist for the Wade Trophy, Wooden Award and Lieberman Award. She broke Katie Smith’s single game scoring mark and set a new one of 42 against Minnesota, which coincidentally the GM and head coach of the Mercury was in attendance.
Ever since Paul Westhead turned things around in Phoenix and brought a championship to town, the Mercury love an uptempo style. They will score in bunches and quite possibly have been missing the type of point guard that Sammy is. She will bring a tenacity unlike any other player and is why they spent the 6th overall pick on her. From the Mercury website.
“Samantha fits our system well,” Head Coach and General Manager Corey Gaines said. “I think the way we play and our style really suits her and she suits us. Her motor is high and she loves playing basketball. She definitely has the tools to become a great player in our league.”
“I’m extremely excited and thankful to be picked sixth,” Prahalis said. “This is one team’s style that fits my style best. I like to play up-tempo, run-and-gun and pass the ball. Style-wise I think this is a great, great fit.”
We here at The Buckeye Battle Cry wish Sammy the best of luck out west and want to thank her for her time in Columbus in the Scarlet and Gray. She will be remembered for her toughness and style of play. She surely has etched her place among the all-time greats in womens basketball right beside Katie Smith.
You can follow Sammy on twitter @Sammy_Prahalis