Darlington's Caroline Dinlger

Darlington’s Caroline Dingler (seated, second from right) signs with Bucknell University during a recent ceremony. She is joined by her brother Carter Dingler (seated, from left), father Van Dingler, mother Cindy Dingler, Darlington Athletic Director Eddie Guth (standing, from left), girls’ basketball coach Hazel Hall, and assistant coaches Mark Tunnell and Steve McConnell.

It’s a bit of a trip from the hills of Northwest Georgia to Central Pennsylvania, but Darlington’s Caroline Dingler is confident that’s the direction for her.

A senior guard for the Lady Tigers’ varsity basketball team, Dingler signed with Division I Bucknell University last week, making her post-Darlington path official.

It also puts her recruiting behind her as she prepares to help lead her team this season.

“That was definitely a big thing last year, with the junior year a big time for recruiting,” Dingler said. “I got my acceptance letter yesterday, so to officially be done with it so I can just focus on school and on my girls and what we do on the floor, it felt great.”

Dingler, who is the Lady Tigers’ floor general, averaged 17.5 points per game as a junior as well as averaging a solid five rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4.5 steals.

Her choice to go with Bucknell and join the Bison is not a usual one for athletes in the area, but the women’s basketball team has been a top contender in the Patriot League, having won the conference tournament two of the last three seasons to earn the league’s NCAA Tournament automatic qualifier.

“I think for me it was just finding the best place for basketball, but also the best place for my academics,” Dingler said. “A lot of people don’t know, but it’s in the Patriot League, which is pretty high up there. It was just where I saw I could push myself academically and athletically as well.”

Dingler, who is from Cedartown, was the Region 6-A Co-Player of the Year last season and scored her 1,000th career point in January.

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