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Ex-Lady Lion going into Scots’ HOF

Courtesy photo From left: AAHS grad Samantha (Reimer) Faler, poses with Edinboro’s new leading scorer, Michaela Barnes, along with head coach Callie Wheeler back in early March.

Ten years ago, Samantha Reimer had just wrapped up her college basketball career at Edinboro University as the program’s all-time leading scorer.

A lot has changed since, including her last name.

Samantha Faler owns a gym with her husband Ben, teaches first grade and coaches junior high girls basketball at Greenville when she isn’t caring for her four-year-old twins, Ava and Grayson.

With most of her life recently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Faler got some welcome news that brought her back to her past.

On Friday, Sept. 4, the Altoona graduate and basketball star will be inducted into the Edinboro Athletic Hall of Fame.

“It was exciting and came at a great time,” Faler said. “We were in quarantine, and it was nice to have some good news with all the bad things going on in the world.”

Faler is excited to share an honor from her past with the people who mean the most to her in the present.

“They hear stories, but my husband never watched me play,” Faler said. “I think that will be one of the most special things about this. Basketball is such a huge part of my past, and everything leading up to Edinboro is what helped shape me, but my husband and kids never saw that. It will be special to share that with them.”

Faler is being inducted in her first year of eligibility along with a former NFL and current CFL quarterback (Trevor Harris) and a Division I national champion wrestler (Jarrod King).

“It’s so well deserved,” said Sam Swank, who coached Faler at Edinboro before retiring in 2018 after 31 years. “She has such a great family support, and her basketball background was great. She thrived at Edinboro, and she was so much fun to have and coach. She was such a hard worker, and she would do anything that we asked.”

Faler scored 1,926 points at Edinboro, a record that stood until Michaela Barnes broke it earlier this year.

“It was cool, and I was so happy for the girl,” Faler said. “She was a phenomenal student and player. It was cool, because I got to go celebrate her at a game, and my dad (Dave Reimer) was officiating the game. He didn’t know I was coming, and my husband and kids were in attendance. They weren’t there when this all happened, so it was cool to have everything come full circle and pass the torch to such an awesome player.”

Faler came off the bench just once for Swank, in her first game at Edinboro.

“The first game we played, she didn’t start, and I think she finished with 24 points,” Swank said. “She started every game after that. She had a great impact on us and was a captain. Her ability to score was because she was very dedicated and strong willed. She had a very good basketball IQ.”

The 2009-2010 Nancy Acker Award winner for Senior Female Athlete of the Year at Edinboro was a three-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West honoree and was first team as a sophomore and senior.

She still holds the career free throw record with 640 made and finished her career averaging 17.5 points per game over 110 contests and is sixth all-time with 449 career assists.

“I was blessed to go to a great school with the best coaches and teammates,” Faler said. “I think my favorite part was the level of competition. All the practices all year prepared you for the game.”

Faler was the 2005-2006 Altoona Mirror Girls Basketball Player of the Year and helped the Lady Lions win their third straight District 6 Class 4A title.

“(The honor) has to do with Edinboro, but it more so has to do with all the people in Altoona,” Faler said. “That was what got me there. It was my family, first of all, and I had great coaches and a support system that got me to Edinboro. The high level of basketball we played at Altoona was so nice, because it allowed me to transition right into Edinboro’s program.”

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