D’Hont leads by example on and off the court

by Robert Janish

Senior Sports Writer

Senior guard Lauren D’Hont, currently the second leading scorer with 10.2 points per game, has been an integral part of the women’s basketball program for the last four years. Now, as a senior, D’Hont is leading the team both on and off the court in many ways.

Being a team captain and one of the most important playmakers on this year’s team, D’Hont has gradually improved from year-to-year. Going back to when she played in high school and her continued hard work and commitment to improve her game, led to her commitment to Canisius beginning in 2013.

When deciding on which college to commit to, D’Hont said the coaching staff at Canisius was pivotal in the decision. “Obviously, I visited a lot of different schools and just something about this coaching staff really resonated with my character,” she said.

Another reason for committing to Canisius was the close distance. Growing up an hour away in Pittsford, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester, and the desire to have her family there for support was important for D’Hont choice.

Head Coach Terry Zeh said D’Hont has been a great person since she first set foot on campus, being successful academically with a near 4.0 GPA in her four years at the College. She intends to attend school after graduating from Canisius to become a Physical Assistant.

“Lauren, as a sophomore, then junior and now a senior, kind of stepped up into a more leadership position, as a captain, and she’s definitely the one that leads with her examples,” senior guard Tamara Miskovic said about D’Hont, who also joined D’Hont four years ago at Canisius. “Same thing off the court, she’s great at school, great friend, I’ve been living with her for four years, so we both kind of grew up, with maturity during these college years.”

“I’m 100 percent a better player than I was when I came in here as a freshman,” D’Hont said. Due to a similar style of play with her high school team, “They just developed my game in that sense, and coming off screens and knowing when to drive the ball and when to cut to the basket, so they developed my game in those aspects.”

“One thing we knew about [D’Hont] is that she does a lot of different things, she’s sort of the jack of all trades,” Coach Zeh said. “She can shoot it, she can get to the basket, she can pass it and she understands what we do.”

Miskovic said that D’Hont has become more vocal on the court and be able to communicate and how to always be able to keep the intensity at a high level. “The biggest thing I would say would be communication nonstop, she’s great at it, so I think that would be the most important thing.”

Zeh said that D’Hont has become the player he expected while scouting her in high school. “You got to really watch her play to really understand and value what she brings and that’s what we saw when she was in high school.” He added she was a good three-point shooter as a freshman, and worked since playing that role in her first year was all they needed, but these last two years, she stepped up as a leader and difference maker for this team.

“She’s definitely the best example, just what she does on the court,” Miskovic said. “She’s so dedicated to basketball, she spends so many hours in the gym, but at the same time she has great grades, getting ready to enter P.A. school.”

Miskovic says how it’s possible to do well both on and off the court, and D’Hont shows that by her example, and that’s the most encouraging sign for freshman to follow her example.

Zeh says her development into a team leader has been prevalent as she matured through the years on this team, through watching upperclassmen and the way “they were able to handle themselves on the court and off the court and implemented that into her way of being a captain and helping lead the team.”

D’Hont said as the years have gone by, “you have to be more mature mentally.” According to her, this was a result of the coaching staff preparing each player for that pivotal step and become more mature as they get ready for the real world after four years.

One of the most important lessons that D’Hont learned from her upperclassmen was to take everything day-by-day and game-by-game. “They just taught me that it’s a long four years and each year by itself is long, so just take it day-by-day and game-by-game.”

Miskovic said that D’Hont always pushes her to be her very best and “she’s been a lot of help to me since the first day I came here, not just her, but her whole family, they accepted me as part of their family.”

After Miskovic moved from Serbia to attend Canisius, D’Hont helped her adjust to certain things and never judged, or made fun of due to being somewhere new and not knowing a lot of people. “Being away from your family for four years it’s definitely tough,” Miskovic said. “She made it easier and she made it fun for me.”

Stating the fact that she was a three-sport athlete in high school, Zeh said D’Hont was always a hard worker, but realized that in order to get better, she “had to put in time in the offseason and really start working and I think that’s when her game really grew, and I think that really helped her develop,” Zeh said.

“[D’Hont] definitely sets a high standard,” Miskovic said. Attributed to her success off the court as well as on it, along with her work ethic, “doesn’t matter the time or the day, she’s going to go to the gym, do whatever work she has to.”

D’Hont has high work ethic standards that many work to try and match it, “and try to be at least half as good as she is,” Miskovic said.

When compared to past players of this program, Zeh believes what stands out about D’Hont is she “doesn’t want to fail, failing’s not really an option.”

He added how important it is to her character because where others may want to give up, “that’s not Lauren, when things get tough, she’s going to keep on plugging and figuring it out a way, she’s never going to give in, because she doesn’t want to fail, and that’s what’s made her successful.”

“She’s going to want to be remembered as that person who gave her all on the court and gave her all in the classroom,” Zeh said. He added how she left that mark that she was going to put everything into both things.

To be able to have the time with playing basketball, academics, service hours, and other extracurricular activities, “to do all those things, and, get it all done, and she doesn’t complain, she just does it and I think that’s the mark with the program. Just do it, she gets it done.”

Miskovic said that “[D’Hont]’s very helpful as a player, she does so many little things that people may not notice, but she’s definitely a very important player to this team.”

“I just hope to leave a mark in an example,” D’Hont said. “Just being a role model for future players, I come into practice every day and compete really hard and fight for my minutes, fight for my spot on the court. I just hope to set an example in that way and to come out every day and know that this is it for me and set an example that these girls can look up to in the future.”


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