NL's Oertner headed for West Point
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Northern Lehigh's Aimee Oertner (center) signs a letter-of-intent to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point to continue her education and basketball career following graduation. Looking on are her mother Beatrice and father and coach Dave.
During her high school career, Aimee Oertner has done her best to be a true floor leader for the Northern Lehigh girls' basketball team.
Oertner has received an appointment to continue her education and athletic career with the United States Military Academy at West Point.
To her, it was a "great" choice to make so she could play the game she so loves, but it was truly the academics that drew her attention in choosing the Patriot League program.
"It's the best education you could possibly get," said Aimee, who ranks in the top 10 of her class (No. 8 of 150) and is Student Council Vice President. "It was ranked like No. 1 in schools in one magazine I saw. So, obviously, I'm getting the best education I could possibly ask for and I know I'm set for life.
"I know I'm happy and my parents are happy about that. They'll be able to see me play at a Division I level nonetheless, so that will be great. I'm just really happy.
"It's a great honor. But, you can't ask for anything more. My whole life I was trying to be the best leader I could be and now it will definitely put me to the test. I have to be a leader there.
"Hopefully, I can achieve all my skills and do well."
She received looks from other Patriot League schools like Lehigh and Lafayette.
"Initially, there was probably a dozen schools interested" Dave Oertner, her head coach and father said. "One school says we're looking for a 'five', but she's really not a center. Aimee's one of those between kids where she's really not a center, and she's not a shooting guard, or even a "three" where she can shoot the three-pointer. That's not what she does well.
"Instead, she's really basically a 'four' and fortunately West Point was looking for a "four" and that's what they wanted.
"So, we're hoping she fits right in. Coach (Dave Magarity) has indicated he thinks Aimee can fit right in and help them out already next year a little bit."
After being under the guidance of her father the last four years while becoming the school's all-time leader scorer (1,660 points) and blocks shot leader (589, which according to MaxPreps.com is No. 1 in the nation), Oertner stated "it will be different" handling her roles on the court with her father in the stands.
"It was a lot of pressure on me all the time being the coach's daughter," Aimee said. "Being under a different coach's wing though, it will be completely different, but yet it's going to be a great experience.
"He (her father) doesn't have to yell at me after every game saying what I did wrong. This time, he can say, 'Okay, you did good.' Even if I don't do good, he would say, 'You did good.' So, that will be great."
It'll now be up to Magarity to handle the responsibility of making her a better player. Yet, her dad still feels she has it in her to succeed as a Black Knight hoopster.
"She has skills, yet she has a long way to go," Dave said. "She really needs to improve her shooting skills and that's one thing that I'm sure they will work on a lot with her.
"She's really well advanced in the defensive area and passing wise she passes better than a big girl around and that's one thing their coaches really liked is the way she handles the basketball and passes. But, the big thing that helps her the most is she has been a leader for our team and that's what they're looking for - they're looking for leadership skills here. And, I think that's going to pay off down the road.
"But, as a father, I'm ecstatic about it and our family is really happy for Aimee."
Aimee's currently interested in majoring in Kinesiology. But, given the chance to wait until her junior year to declare a major, she prefers to remain undecided.