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Hailey Van Lith and the Louisville Cardinals saw their season end in the Elite Eight at the hands of the Iowa Hawkeyes and Caitlin Clark’s record-setting triple-double. While the loss stings, Van Lith isn’t going to let it define nor motivate her.
While most athletes are motivated by tough losses, hardships in their personal life, or other external factors, Van Lith doesn’t roll that way.
Asked if the loss to Iowa will motivate her heading into next season, the junior gave a stern, eye-opening answer.
“I’ll be completely honest. I’m not motivated by external factors. I’m motivated by myself and I always have been. If we woulda won the national championship this year, I woulda had the same amount of motivation in me and that’s just who I am,” Van Lith said.
Van Lith then opened up about her Christian faith explaining that the only opinion that matters is God’s.
“I’m not motivated at all by the fact that they named me honorable mention. I know who I am and I know what God thinks I am. God doesn’t think I’m an honorable mention. I’ll tell you that right now. I don’t need external motivation.”
Her comment about being an honorable mention is in reference to her being an honorable mention on this year’s All-American team.
These comments from Van Lith just moments after her team missed making the Final Four are certainly admirable. Not many athletes, college or professional, carry themselves this maturely after difficult losses.
Van Lith averaged nearly 20 points for the Cardinals this past season. If she returns for her senior year, they’ll be a force in next year’s NCAA Tournament yet again.