Two important reasons led Dexter's Sydney Pnacek to pick Hillsdale College


Sydney Pnacek with her parents on college signing day. photo courtesy of Dexter Athletics

When Dexter basketball player Sydney Pnacek made her decision about where she would go for college, it came down to two things, academics and athletics.

She believes she’s found the right place in Hillsdale College.

Pnacek recently signed to attend and play basketball at Hillsdale and for her it was a decision years in the making.

“I was very excited to sign with Hillsdale,” Pnacek told The Sun Times News. “They were the first school to offer me, back when I was in eighth grade, so I’ve gotten to know the campus and team really well throughout the years.”

She said, “When making my decision it came down to academic and athletic goals that I have. I had many opportunities at different levels, but the academic opportunity that I saw at Hillsdale was something that I couldn’t pass up. Additionally, I know that stepping onto a team lead by Coach Averkamp will lead me to championships, and who doesn’t want that? My decision was as difficult as any athlete, but once I decided I knew that I had made the right choice.”

Her resume is already filled with team and individual successes. Among them, she was a 1st Team All-SEC White in 2021 and 2nd Team All-SEC White in 2020.

Sydney Pnacek shooting the ball over an opponent. photo by Mike Williamson

In looking back over the commitment and hard work, on and off the court, Pnacek said there are definitely some important people who’ve been there throughout and given her support.

“My family has played the biggest role in my basketball career,” she said. “My brothers played with me in the driveway growing up, my dad coached me up until I started AAU, and my mom has supported me through all the ups and downs and the stress of it all. Both my parents sacrificing their own lives and traveling with me across the country for the past seven years has made me incredibly grateful for them and for the things I’ve been able to experience with them beside me.”

Another important part for her has been playing and competing for Dexter basketball.

In competing for Dexter, she said, “I have been very lucky to play with talented players that have pushed me to get better every practice under a coach who wants the best for us, sees our potential, and pulls it out of us every day.”

“What’s special about our team, though, is the bond that we’ve achieved that allows us to make each other the best we can be, and then step off the court and be best friends,” said Pnacek. “I do believe that my time with Dexter has contributed to my leadership skills and other valuable traits that will help me succeed at the collegiate level.”

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