Updated: May 5
Sabrina DeFreese has quickly risen to the top in her basketball career but it was not always easy. Playing at Dwight-Morrow throughout her high school basketball career, Sabrina was the best player on the team. The team as she described was “young and learning,” did not win many games. She scored 2000 points in her high school career earning player of the week awards and such. After graduating from high school, she took a year off and started working.
The year off eventually turned into three years before she decided to go to college. It was then after speaking with Assistant Coach Ricky that she enrolled into PCCC.
Although she had not played organized basketball in three years and did not really workout, DeFreese never lost her skill for the game. She stated “The reason I was able to comeback like I never left was because I know the game so well.” She added “I was never really this crazy dribbler, shooter, or finisher. I just can read defenses and I know the game really well. That’s something that I can’t lose rather than if I had a skill that would go away over time from not using it. Mentally I have the game in my head and it’s never going anywhere.”
DeFreese had an illustrious freshman season leading the Lady Panther’s to a 23-2 record while averaging 22 points per game, 10, rebounds per game, and 5 assists. She also earned GSAC Player of the Year, Region XIX Player of the Year, First team All-GSAC. When asked how she would sum up her first season of college basketball she answered, “I am surprised, I knew I would not be bad coming back but in high school I played on a team where we did not win anything. This year I had the opportunity to win and it was way more than I expected. I’ve never been to a championship, national championship or been in the position to win won in high school. Coming back for my first year and winning a championship it was a lot more than what I had expected.”
The pinnacle of the season was winning the Region XIX Championship against Ocean County, a game in which the Lady Panthers were down by 20 points entering the fourth quarter. Sabrina earned MVP honors in the game after scoring a season high 38 points. She described the win saying, “That was probably the hardest game of my life, not because I was so tired but mentally I was trying to fight my teammates so hard to not give up and keep fighting.”
After finishing the season with a loss, there is always room for improvement. Sabrina spoke on how the loss at nationals will help the team for next season. “I think we will know what to expect next season. I think it was a plus for us so we will be more mentally prepared for next season. It was definitely good to have that experience and we will take advantage of that for next year.”
Within her own game she said the main focus is getting faster. “I can get up and down the court, I just need to do it faster,” she said. Although she shot 44% from the field, she shot just 26% from three. Becoming a better shooter is something she would also like to improve on. “I would like to work on my shot, I do not really have a shot where if I shoot it its going in, sometimes it’s on sometimes it’s off.”
Off the court Sabrina is majoring in Liberal Arts Humanities but is still not set on what she wants to do. She stated “I’m still trying to figure out what are my other interests besides basketball. Being in school around other people helps a little bit with that but honestly basketball has been my whole life and it is hard to find other interests.” Even though she is very successful in basketball her main focus is getting her college degree. “At the end of the day that’s really what I went back to school for was to have a degree.”