Even for a Princeton student, Blake Dietrick is extraordinary. You might even call her Princeton’s Super Woman.
Leading the undefeated Tigers into the Top 25 rankings and to the winningest season in school history, Dietrick passed the 1,000-career point mark in January. With a 29-0 regular-season record, Princeton also surpassed the 1970-71 Penn men’s team for the best start in Ivy League basketball history.
And she won’t be done even when the Tigers wrap their season in the NCAA Tournament. Dietrick will continue her basketball career with the LA Sparks of the WNBA.
While juggling two sports is tough enough when played in the fall and spring, Dietrick plays her seasons back to back in the winter and spring.
“Playing two sports is pretty tough,” Dietrick said, “but when I’m in basketball season I just basically try to stay focused on basketball and when I switch to lacrosse I focus on lacrosse.
“I just try to compartmentalize everything. The same applies to academics and athletics. When I’m at practice, just focus on basketball … I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.”
Dietrick’s coaches love her competitive spirit. “Blake is a fearless competitor,” said Courtney Banghart, the winningest coach in Princeton women’s basketball history. “You are not going to meet a kid who is more competitive, more consistent, more driven to win than Blake. It’s enormously special. Behind every great coach there is a great player. She’s made me look really good this year.”
Dietrick’s work on the court pays off on the lacrosse field as well. “I think basketball is the best preparation for lacrosse, it really is,” said women’s lacrosse coach Chris Sailer. “It’s lacrosse on a smaller scale and with less people.”
Dietrick is able to make it all work and have some fun at the same time. Just ask her about “the checklist.”
Before Ivy League play began, the team would write down each conference it faced. “I’ll write down each conference that we have beaten and a check next to it,” Dietrick said. “For the ACC I think it’s two, A-10 is two and what not. For every single team. And then I write our current record.
“It shows the breadth of the teams we’ve played and the competition, the quality competition that we have played and so it’s really exciting, it makes people happy.
“Then, when coach comes in after to talk to us she always points to the board and says ‘How great is this?’ and it really gets everybody motivated.”
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