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Denae Fritz may be toughest player on Iowa State women’s basketball team | #schoolshooting | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

AMES – Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly knew early in Denae Fritz’s college career that the guard was tough and willing to play through pain. So when Fritz came to the staff last season complaining about an injured shin, he knew something was seriously wrong.

“Her pain threshold is ridiculously high compared to most kids that we’ve ever had,” Fennelly said.

Enough was enough. Fritz, who had become a key contributor for the Cyclones during her first season, was shut down for the remainder of the campaign. She appeared in just three non-conference games the entire season.

“It was hard for me just because I wanted to be out there and I wanted to help them,” Fritz said.

The 5-foot-11 redshirt freshman has started all 10 games this season for the 14th-ranked Cyclones, who open Big 12 play when they play at Texas Tech on Saturday at 2 p.m. She averages 7.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity this year that I’m able to play in conference,” Fritz said.

The Maryville, Tenn., native was a star in high school, tallying more than 2,000 career points and 1,100 rebounds. Fritz averaged 21.1 points, 11.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game as a junior.

What makes those numbers even more impressive is the pain she was dealing with. The shin problems in her right leg started in high school.

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