There’s no question Mia Diplock made her mark in Maine basketball.

In high school, Diplock was a Miss Maine Basketball finalist at Cony High School, nearly leading the Rams to a perfect season and a Class A title during the 2011-2012 season. She would continue her excellence on the court at Colby College in Waterville, forming a solid scoring combination with friend — and Hall-Dale graduate — Carylanne Wolfington.

A 5-foot-8 point guard, Diplock had a consistently successful career at Cony. But it was her senior year in 2012 where she took her biggest jump forward, both as a player and as a leader.

“Her jump from her junior to her senior year was remarkable,” former Cony coach Karen Magnusson told the Kennebec Journal in 2012. “Just stepping into the role (of a leader on the court) saying I’m ready for it.”

Diplock averaged 16.2 points per game and 4.8 assists per game for the Rams, who finished the regular season with a perfect 18-0 record. She was named the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Southern Division Player of the Year. The Rams moved forward through the playoffs and saved their best performance for the Eastern Class A championship, in Cony’s own backyard, the Augusta Civic Center. Down 15 points at one point in the first half, Cony clawed back to beat Edward Little — a team the Rams had played and beaten three times before the regional final — by a score of 44-41. It was the program’s first regional title since 2007. Diplock was named the Eastern Class A tournament most valuable player.

“There wasn’t a moment of ‘We can’t do this, it’s over,” Diplock said. “It was ‘We’ve got to buckle down and crawl back.’ There’s a photo that I remember of me hugging Emily Sanford. It was when we were maybe four points away from taking the lead. She was like, ‘We’re going to (expletive) win this.’ That was the exact moment the photo was taken. We just crushed the second half.

“We all grew up together and watched Cony basketball like it was the Bible,” Diplock said. “Bethany Elwell, Melanie Guzman, really all of them were girls that I had spent so much time with. Katie Rollins, Cassie Cooper, Kristi Violette, you can go on and on with this list of people who we thought were just the most amazing women who we wanted to be just like. I was elated (winning the regional title). It was one of the best nights of my life.”

Cony girls basketball teammates Julie Arbour and Mia Diplock celebrate by cutting down the net after winning the 2012 Eastern Class A championship at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file photo

The Rams would fall one game short of the perfect season, losing to McAuley in the Class A final at the Cumberland County Civic Center (now Cross Insurance Arena) in Portland. It would be the second of four consecutive state titles won by the Lions. Following the season, Diplock was named one of the three finalists of the Miss Maine Basketball award, given out to the state’s top senior player. McAuley’s Alexa Coulombe won the award.

“The week before, I had played in the KVAC All-Star game or something, and my ankle was very badly sprained,” Diplock said. “I was in this gross, big ankle brace while (at the ceremony) and I was just ‘Please, I cannot go up onstage wearing this.’ I remember when we went from 10 semifinalists down to three, it wouldn’t have happened if my teammates and my team hadn’t done as well as it did. I think I’m a decent player, but I don’t think I would have made top three if we didn’t have the year that we did.”

Diplock was recruited to Colby, along with Wolfington. The two had experience playing together in AAU, and would make an immediate impact within the program (both were also named Kennebec Journal Girls Basketball Co-Players of the Year in 2012). By their sophomore year, they were two of the top three scorers on the team (Wolfington a team-high 12.4 points per game, Diplock 9.88 points per game).

“Caryleanne had decided on Colby before I did,” Diplock said. “And she was like ‘This is it, this is my school, I’m gonna be a two-sport athlete.’ And I was like, ‘No, I’m gonna go to Bowdoin.’ And she was like ‘No, you should go to Colby.’ I was like, ‘No, I’m not going to go to Colby.’ Then they did a couple of overnight (visits) and I made the decision to go there and texted (Wolfington) immediately. It made the transition so much easier, and we worked out every summer in Augusta… It made that tough transition from high school to college so much better.

Hall-Dale’s Carylanne Wolfington, left, and Cony’s Mia Diplock were named the Kennebec Journal’s 2012 Girls Basketball Co-Players of the Year. The two friends would later become teammates on the Colby College women’s basketball team. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file photo

“The summer between freshman and sophomore year, my only goal was ‘I want to play more.’ All summer, that’s all I focused on, running, lifting, playing basketball. That was my big transition year, and I went from barely playing to starting… I think around sophomore year, we were starting to figure each other out. Junior year, Haley Driscoll joined, I think she was a big addition. I think a lot of pieces were just falling into place. Then, also, we were working more with our strength and conditioning coach. We were all working harder, just getting in the gym more and playing.”

Diplock’s best offensive output was the 2014-2015 season — her junior year — when she averaged 12.2 points per game. She was also second on the team in assists, with 65. From her freshman season on, the Mules steadily improved, going 8-16 during the 2012-2013 season, to 15-11 and an appearance in the semifinal round of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) playoffs.

After graduating from Colby, Diplock moved to Boston, and worked in clinical research at Boston Children’s Hospital. Diplock decided to work toward becoming a nurse practitioner, furthering her education at Columbia University in New York City, where she’s currently located. Last year, Diplock and her fellow Columbia classmates helped in COVID-19 care at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Mia Diplock is currently a pediatric nurse with Hudson Heights Pediatrics in New York City. Last year, Diplock helped with COVID-19 care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Contributed photo

“We were all in the COVID wards, helping in any way we could,” Diplock said. “We were there in the height of peak pandemic here in New York. The entire hospital had become COVID floors. I was on a makeshift (intensive care unit) that everyone had heard about on (the news). Five days a week, I would do my 40 hours (wearing) double masks, eye protection in a gown all day long. I lived with two other nursing students, now nurses, at the time. We set up this whole process here, where the moment we got back, we would take off what we had worn at the hospital and shower. Because no one knew, at the time, how this thing was spreading to people. We knew people who were sick, our friends. But there wasn’t a test (at the time). Several of my friends had COVID, but we weren’t aware it was COVID until we got our antibodies test. We just went to work and tried to stay positive, but it was hard.”

Today, Diplock is a registered nurse for Hudson Heights Pediatrics in New York.

“There were several people who made comments while we were (in the COVID ward) and it would go somewhere between, ‘You know, it’s not too late to change your mind.’ To, ‘You know, if you can deal with this, you can’t see anything worse,'” Diplock said. “And then, to some people — and certainly how I feel — I feel like I 1,000 percent made the right (career) choice. It’s tough, but everyone is going through a hard time. If I can help, that’s what I want to do.”

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