Blake Dietrick is the floor leader for the Princeton University women’s basketball team, which carried a 23-0 mark, and a No. 16 ranking nationally, into Friday’s matchup against Ivy League rival Dartmouth.
The 5-foot-10 senior from Wellesley was recently added to the watch list for the Nancy Lieberman Award, presented annually to the top point guard in NCAA Division 1 women’s basketball.
“She’s among the best lead guards in the country, and a complete player and competitor who spent more time working on her game last summer than you could believe,’’ said Princeton head coach Courtney Banghart. “She came back stronger and better, and that’s what separates her from being just good into making herself into a great player.’’
An English major, the 21-year-old Dietrick was averaging career highs in points (14.8), assists (5.0), and rebounds (4.8) per game, while also shooting a personal-best 47.8 percent (130-272) from the field and 44.1 percent (49-111) from 3-point territory.
On Jan. 10, she became the 22d player in program history to reach 1,000 career points, and she ranks third all-time in 3-pointers (196) for the Tigers.
At Wellesley High, she was named the girls’ player of the year in 2011 by the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association, while also being a three-time US Lacrosse first-team All-American. She is the career scorer leader in basketball (boys and girls) and in girls’ lacrosse. She has also suited up for the women’s lacrosse team at Princeton the past two springs. Her brother, Tucker, is a freshman lacrosse player at Colby College.
Q. How do you manage being a two-sport athlete at Princeton?
A. When I’m playing basketball, it’s all about basketball, and then I take a few days to get into lacrosse shape.
Q. Were you recruited for both sports?
A. Yes, but I chose basketball and hoped my coaches would be willing to let me do both.
Q. What are the similarities between basketball and lacrosse?
A. There is some crossover. Offensively, you’re cutting and going one on one, and defensively, the sliding packages in lacrosse and help rotations in basketball are identical.
Q. What did you work on most to prepare for this season?
A. I tried to focus on honing each aspect of my game: passing, defense, shooting.
Q. So what do you focus on most during a game?
A. Court awareness, how my teammates are playing, and the way we need to be motivated. I try to lead by example, and that starts with taking pride in going for loose balls or taking a charge.
Q. What has been your favorite course in college?
A. A Geoffrey Chaucer seminar last spring. The material is hilarious. The things Chaucer wrote about were absurd and they related to the common people.
Q. What are your plans after graduation?
A. I’m hoping to try out for the WNBA or play in Europe for a couple of years. I’m also interested in the business world, and worked as an intern in New York City last year with a reinsurance brokerage. I plan to travel with friends next summer to Spain and Italy.
Marvin Pave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.