Nobody has spent more time working on her basketball game than Lindsay Tretter.
And the Holy Family University senior is seeing the dividends pay off for all of those seconds, minutes, hours, days spent in the Somerton rec center.
Foul shots. Jump shots. Three-pointers. Footwork. Speed and endurance.
Whenever she had spare time, she was in the gym working on getting better. Heck, when she didn’t have spare time, she made time to get in there and improve.
It started when she was in grade school and all throughout her days of playing for the Archbishop Wood High School basketball team, Tretter was in that gym preparing for today.
She couldn’t be more ready.
“I put in so much time there” Tretter said with a laugh. “I was doing it for fun, I played basketball since kindergarten, and I played little league games there. It was always fun, I played soccer and softball, but always came back to basketball.
“To have that gym, it was a safe space. If I had a hard time in school or was going through anything, I’d work out. My dream was always to play college basketball, so I knew why I was doing it, but I was having fun at the same time. It was work, but fun.”
That work is paying off handsomely now that she’s a senior at Holy Family. Though she’s only a junior in eligibility because her freshman year was canceled due to the pandemic, Tretter is in her third year as a starter for the Tigers, and they’re on the prowl.
After dropping its opener, Holy Family has won nine straight, including a perfect 2-0 record in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
Tretter has done her part, starting every game and playing about 25 minutes per game. She’s contributing in all ways, scoring more than five points per game and contributing in all other offensive categories.
But just as she did in high school, Tretter’s forte is lockdown defense. It’s why she usually covers the best player on the other team.
It’s a role she’s always had and has always enjoyed it.
“Defense is my favorite part of the game,” Tretter said. “I think it just gives me confidence in my team and myself. Even at Wood and especially here, these girls are very good, but so am I. I can stop them, I can stop them from 20 points a game.
“I think this year is more fun. The more important games is where I think I thrive the most on defense. There’s girls averaging 20 points a game. I don’t want them to score double digits. They’re not scoring. I think that has been my theme.”
Her defense, her ability to play the other team’s top player hasn’t just helped her. It’s certainly a main reason why the Tigers are so good. But she credits the team defense, not just what she does.
“We’re in the top 10 in the nation for defense, and that’s something I take pride in and the whole team takes pride in,” Tretter said. “I think that’s what my role is. I try to push it to everyone else. Keep things up defensively, all the time.
“My role is to be a leader, keep my team together, give 100 percent, whether we are in the game or not. Defensively, my job is to take control of the best player on the other team, shut them down. Offensively I just do what I need to.”
Tretter is enjoying what could very well be her final year playing hoops. And the Tigers are enjoying the success she knew they would have.
“I knew this year was going to be special because of how much work we put in,” Tretter said. “And after last year, making the semifinals, we realized we can go even further, be even better. We have a great team, so many good players and we have a great coach. She’s helped me so much. She didn’t recruit me, the former coach recruited me, but when (Bernadette Laukaitis) got hired, and I loved her from the minute she reached out. My AAU coach John Gallagher, he knew her and he said I would love her. I reached out, we met, she offered me, and I really liked her and I said want to go there. It was a great decision.”
Just like playing at Wood.
Playing in the Catholic League will get you ready in a hurry, and Wood, coach by Dougherty grad Mike McDonald, always enjoyed long runs in the state tournament.
“Coach Mike is one of the best coaches I ever had,” Tretter said. “Not just practices, but off the court, he made sure we were doing our best. Practice, games, challenging us every day. We had great players we played against, everyone was good. It prepared me to have a mentality of winning. I hate losing. I challenge myself and teammates. I’ve always been like that.”
This year, things couldn’t be much better, and that’s great because it could be her last year playing.
While she has a year of eligibility left because her freshman campaign was canceled due to the pandemic, she’s on pace to graduate in May. After that, she’ll work to become a physical therapist. That’s three more years of school.
She could play next year, but it might be too much juggling the challenging courses with basketball. Tretter won’t play unless she can give it her all.
“It’s good I have to go to school for three more years, but I love it,” Tretter said. “I can’t wait to get started in my career. It’s not technically medical school, but it’s very hard. That’s why this might be my final year. There is a chance I could play, but it’ll be very hard. That’s why I’m going back and forth. It’s a full, fall, spring, summer, all year round. I’d have a lot less time. But if I play, I’d figure out a way to get it done.
“Growing up, I always had some type of injury or hurt friends. I’ve been there, I’ve seen them go through it. I don’t like going through it, but I like helping others. It’s something I really want to do.”
If this is her final year, it’s been a great ride.
From Wood to Holy Family and everything that goes along with being a college basketball player, Tretter did it. But she’s quick to point out she didn’t do it alone.
“My family, my mom, my dad, my sister, my aunts, uncles, they’re my biggest supporters ever,” Tretter said. “I played with my sister Lauren, she played at Wood with me. She’s always been my biggest supporter. We’d work out, play one on one. We’re close on and off the court. She watches all my games and texts me.
“My mom, dad and grandmom come to all my games. They’re always there, support everything I do, always there to cheer me on. I’m so thankful to have a supportive family.”