Less than a year after a concussion ended her season, Glenbrook South senior Riley Dahiya is making an impact for the Titans girls basketball team.
It’s not a surprise to coach Steven Weissenstein, who believes that Dahiya would have seen more playing time last year if the guard hadn’t been sidelined after a fall in practice.
“Since her freshman year she’s continued to show improvement,” Weissenstein said. “She would have probably played a lot more if she hadn’t suffered that concussion.”
Dahiya was completing drills in practice at the end of January when a teammate ran into her. She fell and her head bounced against the floor. By the time she was cleared to return to practice after suffering headaches and dizziness, Glenbrook South’s season was over.
Her coach said Dahiya’s work in the offseason to get prepared for the year helped her get back on track faster.
“She worked so hard in the spring and summer,” he said, referring to her conditioning. “It’s because of that that the girls really look up to her for all she’s done and accomplished.”
Dahiya is averaging 9.0 points and 3.0 rebounds as one of two seniors in Glenbrook South’s starting lineup.
“It’s fun being a senior and a leader,” Dahiya said. “I know a lot of other girls look up to me and the other seniors. I wasn’t starting last year, but knew I’d be stepping into a bigger role [this year]. It’s taken some time to get used to.”
One of the adjustments Dahiya has had to deal with is the increased playing time and the physical effect that has taken, although she said she is now symptom free from her concussion.
Being a vocal leader on the floor also has been an adjustment.
“I know it’s my job to get everyone talking,” she said. “Especially with [two underclassmen] in the starting lineup. I can talk, but having to talk more and do more than just lead by example has taken some time to get used to.”
Senior guard Carly Weinman, like Dahiya, is in her second year on varsity. Weinman said Dahiya has made big strides since last season and that the team’s reliance on her goes beyond her vocal leadership.
“She’s someone you can trust with the ball,” Weinman said. “She just makes things work when we’re out there.”