Lyric Blanch, a 17-year-old senior point guard on Kingston High School’s girls’ varsity basketball team signed a letter of intent this week to continue playing the game at the collegiate level when she moves on to St. Michael’s College in the fall.
Blanch will receive a full athletic scholarship to play basketball for the Purple Knights, one of only two student athletes awarded the distinction for the 2014-15 season. The small Catholic liberal arts school located in Colchester, Vt., is part of the NCAA’s Division II Northeast Ten Conference
“What really made this college a right fit for me was the education,” said Blanch. “Saint Mike’s has a very good reputation for excellence in the classroom and for me that’s the main thing that popped out. I looked at it as the education was the cake and basketball was the icing by topping it all off. Other aspects that stuck out to me were the diversity and warmth of the campus. I wanted to be assured with making my choice that I wasn’t only going to get satisfactory on one out of the two major parts of being a student-athlete.”
Blanch said she is planning on majoring in secondary education, with a minor in history.
Though she was initially leaning toward an offer from Fairfield University, a Division I school, a visit to the campus left Blanch feeling as though she hadn’t found her collegiate home. That all changed when she visited Saint Michael’s.
“I stepped on campus and could almost instantly envision myself there in the fall,” Blanch said. “I felt every possible emotion there I couldn’t and didn’t find on any other of the three campuses, and that’s what drew me to Saint Michael’s. With me not liking big crowds I knew I would fit it well with St. Mike’s having a similar population to my current high school. The teacher to student ratio being 13:1, I just knew it would be a great fit and I would succeed both on and off of the court.”
Blanch added that the relatively close proximity of the campus — and many of its division rivals — to her Kingston home was a key factor.
“I’m a huge family-oriented person and I wanted to make sure wherever I went my family was going to be able to make some games,” Blanch said.
Blanch was the starting point guard and a defensive linchpin on a Kingston Tigers team which went 16-6 overall, upended previously undefeated Monroe-Woodbury in the Section IX, Class AA title game, and made it all the way to the regional semifinals before falling to an Ossining squad which went on to win the state championship.