When Bridget Giedemann isn’t sinking buckets on the hardwood, she’s creating award-winning dishes that her classmates can’t wait to sink their teeth into.
A culinary-arts major at Swenson Arts and Technology High School, Giedemann is scoring a wealth of success in and out of the classroom. A senior student-athlete and National Honor Society memory, Giedemann broke her school’s record for most career points on the basketball court.
The 5-foot-8 forward and point guard finished her senior season with 1,095 points, breaking the record held by Mia Waring, who netted 1,064 career points in 2009. She also recorded 578 rebounds over the past four seasons — just shy of breaking that school record as well, which still stands at 608 rebounds.
“It’s surreal,” said Giedemann, a lifelong Tacony resident who played for the Bustleton Bengals before attending Swenson. “Everyone is congratulating me, but it hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
Only two athletes — Giedemann and Waring — have surpassed the 1,000-point mark in Swenson basketball history, including both the boys and girls programs.
Her journey to the record books wasn’t easy, though, especially considering that Giedemann took on a new position this year. Traditionally a forward, the senior moved to the point-guard role this winter, after one of her teammates suffered a torn ACL injury.
“She had to go up against some of the better guards in the city, and played out of position,” explained Swenson boss Shawn Williams, head coach of the girls team for eight years. “We’re also in the small-enrollment division, where you’re playing these charter schools. We’re in the hardest division in the city.
“She went up against some of the quickest, toughest guards in the city and played out of position and still averaged twenty-seven points a game,” he added proudly.
Swenson competes in the Philadelphia Public League AA, facing powerhouse squads like the High School of Engineering and Science and Imhotep Charter. Although the Swenson squad was composed mostly of freshmen, they still managed to score a few wins. The Lions finished 3-10 overall.
“We did good. We could have won more games,” said Giedemann. “Some of these girls have never played before. I try to help them out and help them learn more. I try to teach them everything I’ve learned so far from him (coach Williams).”
Giedemann is no stranger to the hardwood, although competing at Swenson has been a slightly different experience. The high school, which is on Red Lion Road, doesn’t have a gymnasium.
Swenson was established in 1977 as a technical/vocational high school offering a number of academic majors, from mechanical engineering to culinary arts.
But because Swenson is a vocational school, it was not built with a traditional gymnasium. Instead, the athletic department invested in a few basketball nets and mats, which are arranged in an old shop classroom.
The Lions have never had a home court. They host all home games at the Houseman Recreation Center in Summerdale.
“I’m used to it by now,” Giedemann said of Swenson’s lack of athletic facilities. “At first it was shocking, but I got used to it after a while. It doesn’t faze me anymore.
“It’s hard coaching by myself and trying to run a program with no gym, no facility, no support, and trying to get everyone on the same page,” added Williams. “Half the roster is freshmen. We get a lot of girls that are very green. She (Giedemann) does a good job helping them. She’s the first one to show up and the last one to leave.”
Giedemann hopes to continue her basketball career at college next year. She’s currently considering Delaware Valley College, Penn State-Berks, East Stroudsburg and Widener universities. She wants to pursue a restaurant/ tourism major.
“I want to eventually do something in food science, which is a way of making food healthier or finding different ways to process food so it’s healthy,” explained Giedemann, who cooked grilled chicken alfredo with parmesan and garlic sauce as her senior project this year. “I love to cook Italian food. I really like all of my culinary classes. My culinary teacher, Mr. Perti, taught me a lot in the past three years.”
Giedemann will graduate from Swenson in the spring, leaving behind two school records — most career points (1,095) and most points scored in a single game (42).
Her heroics on the hardwood earned Giedemann the Markward Memorial Basketball Club honor last week, joining fellow Northeast Philadelphia athletes Megan Wolf and Shannon Swift, who both play for Archbishop Ryan High School.
The banquet, held at the Valley View Inn in Roxborough on Feb. 15, honored exceptional athletes throughout the Philadelphia Public and Catholic leagues. ••EndFragment