MIDLOTHIAN – Blaine Blackburn’s life has been defined by his accomplishments on and off of every playing surface imaginable. His high school career featured time on the basketball court and baseball diamond as well as strong academic endeavors.
Why should college be any different?
Blackburn signed his letter of intent to join the University of Dallas’ basketball team next semester continuing his hardwood career.
“I like the coaches because they kept contacting me all school year and they were growing on me I guess you could say,” Blackburn said. “I played with the kids a lot because they kept having open gym and they were like, ‘Come play.’ I was being pretty successful out there so I decided to go.”
He might have whittled his sports life down to just one activity but odds are life won’t get much easier.
Moving to the Division III school means Blackburn’s practice time will increase along with strength and conditioning work. The senior has added to his workload by choosing to major in physics.
With that kind of commitment, Blackburn acknowledges he’s “going to be a slave to work.” That kind of mindset doesn’t surprise Midlothian basketball coach Glenn Hartson who has seen Blackburn become one of the best players to come through the program in recent years. His efforts on and off the court are things Hartson will have a hard time replacing.
“It just shows his hard work and dedication. He’s a busy guy, taking a lot of AP classes, plays basketball, not only that but he plays baseball. He was successful in baseball on the mound,” Hartson said. “It just shows his competitive spirit and his desire to be successful. He’s going to be greatly missed because he can score the ball and we’re going to miss that.”
Over the last few years, Blackburn drew the attention of defenses with his shooting prowess. Last season, Blackburn averaged 10.7 points per game as junior. After four key seniors graduated from last season’s team, Blackburn saw his role as a scorer and playmaker elevate. He responded by averaging 13.4 points per game with 54 3-pointers made. He also added 74 assists and 94 rebounds last year.
For his efforts, Blackburn earned all-district honors in back-to-back seasons both times as a second-team selection.
That natural scoring ability will put him in contention to see the court his freshman season. The Dallas coaching staff has already told Blackburn he stands a chance of working his way up the depth chart quickly if he showcases what the coaches think he is capable of doing.
It won’t be easy but then again that’s how Blackburn seems to like it.
“He said I could be able to start if I show my true potential out there and not be scared,” Blackburn said.
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