Amherst senior Kamryn Dziak was looking for a place to continue her basketball career that had a big city vibe, an up-and-coming basketball program and coaches who are supportive of her individual goals and desires.
To make her dreams come true she went all the way to the “deep south.”
On Tuesday, Dziak, a 5-9 guard, orally committed to play Division I basketball at Georgia State University.
Dziak made an official visit to the school, located in downtown Atlanta, on Sunday. By the time the hour had arrived to pack her bags and return to Ohio her decision was made.
“It was really awesome,” Dziak said. “It checked all my boxes. They are doing a lot of building on campus, they brought in a new coach who really wants to rebuild the program and the campus had the vibe I was looking for. It was easy to commit.”
Dziak is coming off of a junior year in which she averaged 12.4 points, 2.3 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game while earning Division I honorable mention all-Northeast Lake district honors. She also made 49 3-point field goals.
“At the end of my junior year I really felt like I was coming into my own,” Dziak said. “I knew my last summer of AAU was coming up, I was playing my best basketball and I just put it all out there for everybody to see.”
It was at an AAU tournament in Louisville, Ky., that she first caught the eye of the Georgia State coaches.
“It feels so awesome to commit, it’s like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders,” Dziak said. “I can finally focus on having a great senior year.”
In addition to the success Dziak has had on the basketball court, she is also an all-Greater Cleveland defender on the Comets soccer team that is currently tied for first in the Southwestern Conference.
“As a freshman I was a little unsure of myself but playing Division I basketball was always my dream,” Dziak said. “I can’t believe I achieved it. I could not have done it without the help of my teammates, coaches, my parents and everyone around me who has just been so supportive.”
Dziak gave special thanks to her AAU basketball coach, MAC Basketball’s Kevin McNamara.
“Coach Mac spent a lot of time with me,” Dziak said. “He helped me find schools that would be a good fit for me. Without him I don’t even know if I’d be here making a decision right now.”
Dziak will be joining a Georgia State team that had an 8-22 record last year playing in the Sun Belt Conference but has a new coach — former North Carolina State assistant Gene Hill, who is trying to lead the Panthers back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003.
“I know the team is losing some seniors this year,” Dziak said. “But, including myself, coach is bringing in eight new players in my class so I know they are really trying to rebound quickly.”
Dziak had two games last season — wins over North Olmsted and Olmsted Falls — where she scored over 20 points. She will need more of those games in 2018-19 if she wants to help lead the Comets, under first-year coach Jay Valadez, back to the top of the SWC.
“I feel like this is going be our year to really do great things,” Dziak said. “I can’t wait to get back out there.”