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Diemer, Regents men’s basketball work toward season opener

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 10:54 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Rockford University men’s basketball will play a game for the first time in 11 months on Saturday against Edgewood in Madison, Wisconsin. The Regents are led by second year head coach Jeremy Riegle. Rockford is excited to be back on the court as a team, but maybe not as excited as one of its players.

“I just keep pinching myself because it seems like a dream.”

The coronavirus pandemic has made life difficult for many athletes. Whether its not getting to train, not getting to compete, or not getting to be with teammates. Kevin Diemer has had to wait almost two years to finally play in a game that matters again.

“I just went for a loose ball and somebody came and took my knee out.”

Diemer missed all of last season with a torn MCL.

“You can realize how quickly it can get taken away,” said Diemer. “So, having it back, and especially with COVID, you realize how quickly it can get taken away. Just being back on the floor and not even a game makes me so happy.”

The Boylan grad says it’s been a struggle to get back, but that he feels 100%.

“It’s more of a mental thing than anything,” explained Diemer. “Just getting yourself comfortable making the same moves you used to make. Just being confident in your game.”

“He’s everything you want as a coach,” said Riegle. “He busts his butt, he sprints the floor every time. He’s always talking, he’s always bringing energy. He’s not a guy that’s going to have a bad day.”

The Diemer family is well-known around Regents basketball. His brother Tony played and graduated from Rockford University. Kevin said he’s changed his number to honor his brother.

“He’s the reason why I play basketball, he’s the reason why I came here,” said Diemer. “I thought it’d be a cool tribute to wear 34 for him.”

Diemer wants to get the Regents back to the playoffs, but know there’s going to be plenty of hoops to jump through just to play.

“You got to do what you got to do if you want to hoop. Getting a COVID test three times a week is nothing compared to playing basketball six times a week. I’ll take that any day.”

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