Lutz carries on family tradition

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Adam Goldsboro

Jenna Lutz looks on during a recent game. Lutz will join the Allegheny College basketball team this fall.

Adam Goldsboro, Multimedia Editor

The number on the back of a basketball player’s jersey can be a tribute to a favorite pro player or sometimes just a random number. Senior Jenna Lutz wears number 52, the same number that her father and older sister wore.

Her sister, Carly Lutz, played for Baldwin and currently plays for Point Park. Her father, Supt. Dr. Randal Lutz, won a section championship when he played for Baldwin.

“I wear number 52 because I see them as big role models,” Lutz said.

Lutz started her basketball career after seeing her older sister play a game. Afterward, Lutz went up to her mom and asked, “Can I play too?”

She loved playing the game through elementary school and middle school. Freshman year, though, was a struggle for Lutz.

“I was confused on what I wanted to do with (basketball). I didn’t know whether I wanted to try to play in college or not,” Lutz said.

Lutz ultimately decided to keep playing in high school and to pursue playing at the next level. To do so, Lutz had to improve all facets of her game.

“I felt I had to work on basic skills like shooting and defense, but I also felt I had to become a better leader and work on my confidence,” Lutz said.

During her sophomore and junior seasons, Lutz improved her skills, and her confidence increased in the same breath.

Teammate Abby Marzina saw Lutz’s growth.

“She is a really good motivator. … She has become a lot more confident in how good she is,” Marzina said.

Marzina also said Lutz has become an anchor for the team on defense and that she has a high basketball I.Q.

Lutz believes that the growth in her confidence has led to her playing better.

“Basketball is all about confidence,” she said. “Confidence can make a player better than they actually are.”

Confidence can make a player better than they actually are.”

— Jenna Lutz

The beginning of her senior season was difficult, however, as Lutz was rehabbing an injury that kept her out for four months.

“It was really frustrating being out for that long, but I used it as an opportunity. I decided to be a leader on the bench and still contribute even though I was out,” Lutz said.

She got back in action for the Highlanders in mid-January.

Earlier this year, Lutz committed to Allegheny College. She said she chose Allegheny not just for the basketball program, but because she plans to major in environmental science, and Allegheny has a good program for that major.

“It felt really good to commit finally. I’m proud of myself for it,” Lutz said.

Marzina said the team shares the feeling.

“The team is proud of her. It shows how she worked to get here,” Marzina said.