BASKETBALL PREVIEW: A Key Presence
Katie Zenevitch Was The Leading Scorer And Rebounder Last Year For BC. Now She's Hungry For More
Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
The key is a sacred area in all basketball games. Measuring 12 feet wide and 15 feet long, this painted area right in front of the net is where many games are won or lost. It is no surprise, therefore, that many teams can only go as far as their post players take them.
Katie Zenevitch hopes she can take the Eagles a long way.
Now entering her junior year, Zenevitch was the best player for Boston College by a wide margin last year. She led the Eagles in both points and rebounds on a team that underwent somewhat of a rebuilding year. Despite the difficult and, at times, disappointing season last year, Zenevitch remains confident about her team’s potential and excited about the upcoming campaign.
“I’m looking to have fun this season,” Zenevitch said. “I’m looking forward to working with the new coaching staff with Coach Johnson. Everyone has been so supportive in practice and working hard for the season, so I’m looking to have fun and work hard every day in practice just like we have every day in the preseason.”
Zenevitch has often been noted for her tenacious work ethic both on and off the court. As a freshman at BC, she earned regular minutes after an impressive preseason. Her incredible passion for the game did not start at BC, though—rather, as she says, it is something that has been with her as long as she can remember.
“I know when I was younger, my mom coached me up until high school, basically,” Zenevitch said. “I always had trouble with my left hand. There were two girls on my sixth grade team when I couldn’t make left hand layups and they could. Every day after practice, I would just work on the left hand, left hand, left hand. My mom said I would get so mad I would be chucking the ball away when I wouldn’t make one. I think I still have that today. I consider myself a perfectionist. If I don’t have something, I don’t want to walk away until I get it. It’s something that can be negative where I don’t have to take myself so seriously, but I just try to do the work the best I can.”
Zenevitch’s career took her to Central Catholic High School in Lawrence, Mass. There, she would not only lead her team to three consecutive Division I State Championships, but also gain national recognition. She was ranked 63rd nationally in her class and ninth in the forward spot for the class of 2010. When she finally left Central Catholic, she had become its all-time leader in both points and rebounds. Zenevitch never forgot her time in high school, and credits her old coach for helping her to get where she is today.
“My work ethic has a lot to do with my high school coach, Sue Downer,” Zenevitch said. “She just pushed me at practice each day to not settle for anything less than what she thought I could do.”
With high school behind her, Zenevitch came to Chestnut Hill with the same goal she had always had: dominating the paint. She won regular playing time almost immediately as a freshman, playing in 32 of 33 games and averaging just under 14 minutes per game. Her passion for the game and the incredible amount of effort she put into every play did not go unnoticed, as she won the Coaches Award at the end of the season. As she says, though, Zenevitch didn’t change her style of play when she put on the maroon and gold for the first time.
“I just want to leave each game with no regret,” Zenevitch said. “I think my main thing right now is to look back and be able to say I gave it my all and I did the best I could, whatever the outcome. And just supporting my teammates this year—I think each of us needs to hold each other accountable. Accountability for our team is a huge thing, and we each need to keep working on just being there for each other and that’s something that I want to bring to the team.”
Her sophomore season was even more impressive. With the team in a state of transition, Zenevitch managed to lead the Eagles on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. On offense, she averaged 10.5 points a game and led the team with a 51.3 percent shooting percentage. She also had the second highest 3-pointer shooting percentage, coming in at just under 36 percent. What makes her such a nightmare for opponents to defend against is the fact that they never know just what she’ll do next.
“I would say ‘physical’ is one thing I consider myself,” Zenevitch said. “I’ll be diving on the ground for loose balls and everything. But I do like my shot coming from the trail spot and up top. But I will do some back to the basket moves where I like to get my player back on her feet so I can go up for an easy layup.”
Defensively, Zenevitch may make an even bigger impact for the Eagles. She led the team with 21 blocks on the season and, even more impressively, with 6.2 rebounds per game. Zenevitch takes great pride in her work on the defensive end of the court and is determined to continue working to get ever better in the dirty areas.