Former Dartmouth women’s basketball co-captain Sydney Scott ’08 strives to epitomize the spirit of the Ivy League — successfully balancing her athletic commitments with her academic work thoroughout her Dartmouth career.
For her efforts, Scott was honored with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Charles T. Stoner Law Scholarship Award, named after a former legal consultant for the WBCA. The scholarship, established in 2001, is presented every year to one senior female basketball player who has shown excellence both on and off the court and who intends to pursue a career in law.
Upon hearing that she had won the award, Scott was ecstatic.
“I was really excited,” she said. “The scholarship is a huge honor and it’s just been unfolding, how cool it is to get this honor. At first, I was just getting the scholarship, but now I get to go to the women’s Final Four, get out of Hanover, go to Tampa where it’s warm and the sun shines for more than a couple of hours. As I kept getting e-mails from the coordinator about how the all-Americans are going to be there, the great coaches are going to be there, and my coach is going to be there supporting me, and it’s really exciting.”
Scott has also been named to the winter Academic All-Ivy team, along with co-captain Kristen Craft ’08.
Scott and Craft also share the distinction of being the only two players in Ivy League history to make it to the postseason in all four years of their careers.
On the court, Scott has garnered various awards throughout her Dartmouth career. She was selected unanimously to the to the Ivy League all-rookie team as a freshman and was picked for second all-Ivy team, and named honorable mention in her junior and senior years, respectively.
This year, Scott had 6.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Scott is also the leader in appearances in program history, with 116 games played.
During her career, the Big Green won a share of the Ivy League regular season title three times. This past season, Dartmouth narrowly missed out on an NCAA tournament bid after losing in a three-way playoff to Cornell.
Off the court, she is an English major with a 3.47 grade point average. Her interest in reading various works of literature led her to pursue an English degree.
“I had no idea what I was going to be interested in my freshman year,” Scott said. “But a personal goal of mine was to be well-read, and so I wanted to read wonderful works of literature, and I do love to write, my parents say it’s in my blood because my grandmother was an English teacher.”
While playing college basketball was a substantial time commitment for Scott, she says she performed better academically in the terms when she was playing basketball.
“It’s difficult for student-athletes here,” Scott said. “However most of us perform better academically during the season because we have to manage our time better, so we’re extra focused on academics and basketball or our sports, because we’re aware of why we’re here, but we’re also strong competitors. It becomes difficult at times, but if you manage your time wisely it can be done.”
Scott has also studied abroad in Mexico and worked for U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas).
The coaching staff was accommodating in letting Scott pursue her academic goals, she said.
“Our coaches are really flexible,” Scott said. “We’ve had pre-meds in the past who have had to have lab from 5 to 7 or 6 to 8, so when we pick our classes we don’t really think about athletics that much. We have to get done what has to be done, and as a team it might be a little bit of an inconvenience, but you have to do your thing.
Scott will be presented with the award on Tuesday at the WBCA’s awards luncheon in Tampa, Fla. This event is held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four.
After graduation, Scott hopes to go abroad before pursuing a J.D. in graduate school
“Right now, I’m looking to play overseas, gain some cultural capital,” Scott said. “Also, I will be preparing to take the LSATs and applying to law school.”