Blake ready to make her mark in Bendigo

POINT GUARD: Blake Dietrick has arrived in Bendigo ready to guide the Spirit back to the WNBL play-offs. Picture: DARREN HOWE

POINT GUARD: Blake Dietrick has arrived in Bendigo ready to guide the Spirit back to the WNBL play-offs. Picture: DARREN HOWE

When the Bendigo Spirit made an offer to Blake Dietrick it didn’t take the American guard long to sign on the dotted line.

“I had two Australian team-mates when I was playing for Seattle (in the WNBA) in Jenna O’Hea and Abby Bishop and they were both amazing people,’’ Dietrick said.

“They told me the Australian league was great and that my game would be suited to the league. They said the people here were great and they were great examples of that. I’m really happy to be here.”

Dietrick, 23, had a standout college career with Princeton.

After having pre-season training stints with Los Anghelses and Washington, the point guard didn’t get drafted to the WNBA.

However, this year she picked up two free agent stints with the Seattle Storm and the San Antonio Sparks.

“There’s so many incredibly talented players from all over the world in the WNBA,’’ Dietrick said.

“I was so lucky to learn from them. Hopefully, I can get back to the league next year and contribute more.

“That starts from having a good season here. The coaches here are really great and coach Pritchard has said that the goal for me is to improve my game.”

Dietrick has plenty of tricks.

In between college and her WNBA stints she spent a season in Italy where she averaged 15.5 points per game in a strong league.

She’s also a strong passer and likes to be a leader.

“My primary focus has always been making my team-mates better,’’ Dietrick said.

“I like to score, too, because if I can score it makes me more of a threat and allows me to get more open looks for my team-mates.

“I like to shoot the three, but I can drive to the basket as well.

“I very much want to play a team game, it’s not about me, it’s about the team and that’s my primary focus.”

Dietrick’s sporting career could have taken a different path.

Aside from being a basketball star, Dietrick was an outstanding lacrosse player.

When the college basketball season finished she would suit up for the Princeton Tigers lacrosse team.

“The sports are very similar,’’ she said.

“It was hard to choose between the two, but basketball has been my true love.

“A professional lacrosse league has just started in the US, but there’s only four teams.”

Dietrick’s first game for the Spirit will be this weekend’s pre-season clash with Dandenong.

They told me the Australian league was great and that my game would be suited to the league. - Blake Dietrick

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