Tasty talents

Swen­son seni­or Brid­get Giedemann has en­joyed plenty of suc­cess with the Lions. In the classroom, she’s a culin­ary-arts ma­jor. On the bas­ket­ball court, she re­cently broke her school’s re­cord for most ca­reer points.

Swen­son High School Seni­or Brid­get Giedemann re­cently scored her 1,000th point and broke the school’s re­cord for ca­reer points.


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. ••


You can reach at myerkov@bsmphilly.com.

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