Big East thriving as new season begins

Lois Elfman | 11/1/2018, 3:06 p.m. | Updated on 11/1/2018, 3:06 p.m.
Marquette senior guard Allazia Blockton, unanimous selection for Big East Conference preseason player of the year, prefers to put the ...
DePaul players Mart'e Grays (L) and Ashton Millender look forward to playing St. Johns's at the Garden in February Lois Elfman photos

Marquette senior guard Allazia Blockton, unanimous selection for Big East Conference preseason player of the year, prefers to put the emphasis on seeing the Golden Eagles conquer their nonconference opponents, and then blaze a path through Conference play.

“I celebrate in the moment, and then I know there’s always more work to be done every day to get better,” said Blockton, who credited coach Carolyn Kieger for pushing her to be the best player she can be. “I’m not stopping until I get everything I want, and I want to have a very successful career. I want my team to go even farther than we’ve ever been. That’s on my mind more than individual accolades.”

DePaul University senior forward Mart’e Grays not only enjoyed being in New York for Big East media day, but also is looking forward to playing on the court at the world’s most famous arena when St. John’s hosts DePaul at Madison Square Garden in February. The Blue Demons, winners of the 2018 Big East Tournament, return several top players.

“We have a lot of experience and talent,” said Grays, who appreciates all she’s learned. “Being competitive at everything you do, on the court and off the court, is going to take you a long way.”

After missing last season because of an injury, Dorothy Adomako, a graduate student at Georgetown University, is grateful to be back on the court. “I want to finish out strong,” said Adomako. “We have goals on this team and hopefully we can accomplish them this year.” Senior guard Dionna White, selected to the preseason All-Big East Team, said just being in Madison Square Garden got her pumped up.

Standing on the court in the Mecca of basketball set a positive tone for Providence College sophomore guard Chanell Williams, a native of the Bronx and a graduate of Monsignor Scanlan. She said the Friars are working to better their record and rise up the rankings.

“Not many think of us as a top team, so trying to show people different,” said Williams, who takes inspiration from her late grandmother. “She definitely plays a big part in my game and contributes to every time I step on the court.”

She added, “At my high school we were definitely the underdogs and we showed people different. That’s the best part—being underestimated and showing people different.”