Former Crown Point girls basketball standout Cassie Pruzin finds herself in unfamiliar sea of red these days.
The 2005 Crown Point grad was used to the Bulldogs fans clad in red at high schools games, but the lifelong Cubs fan is living in St. Louis and has seen first hand how St. Louis fans show their affection for their Cardinals.
"Red all over," Pruzin said. "They really love their team here. In Chicago, we have the White Sox and Cubs, but down here it is all Cardinals."
Pruzin got a laugh when the Cubs beat the Cardinals 17-5 on May 12, which coincidentally was the 44th anniversary of Ernie Banks' 500th career home run.
"I couldn't wait to go to work the next day and give it to my coworkers," Pruzin said. "It was all in fun and I have to take all their poking fun at the Cubs.
Pruzin, who was a 2005 Indiana All-Star and an NCAA Division III All-American at DePauw, is a senior financial analyst for HD Supply Waterworks. She has been with the industrial supply company for 1 1/2 years. Previously, the economics major worked in Chicago for Bank of America.
"It is really challenging because you are working with a lot of numbers and you do make a lot of decisions," Pruzin said.
Pruzin played for Tom May at Crown Point and said the hall of fame coach was a big influence on her basketball career.
"Coach May really got the most out of me," Pruzin said. ""He knew I could be real good and he worked and worked with me. I owe quite a bit to him."
Including her senior year when her mom Karen died in August of 2004.
"I did think about not playing, but then I thought about how could I not play? That is what my mom would have wanted was for me to play" Pruzin said. "It was tough to not hear her voice in the stands, not see her at game because she was always at all of mine and my brothers' (T.J. and Chad) games."
She credits her dad Tom, her brothers and May for helping her through a tough part of her life.
Pruzin helped lead DePauw to the NCAA Division III national title in 2007, beating Washington (Mo.) University. Pruzin said there is some irony.
"I look out of my apartment and I can see Washington's campus," Pruzin said. "Winning (the title) was just something special. We were the underdogs throughout the whole tournament and we kept fighting and fighting.
For me, it was the greatest time of my life to win a a national championship."