Freshman dynamo


VN Staff Writer


Although she may only be 5-foot-4, Darianne Seward has made a huge impact as a freshman on the Detroit Titans women’s basketball team.

She has already broken records, and she continues to make a major impact on the team. Her shift from high school basketball to college basketball has been a breeze, as she’s taken her athletic abilities to new heights.

Before her career at Detroit Mercy, Seward played at Africentric Early College (a public high school) in Columbus, Ohio, where she earned many athletic awards, including first team all-state.

Seward decided to come to UDM because of its location and team chemistry.

“Detroit Mercy isn’t too far from home,” Seward said. “It's only about four hours (from home), which is really nice.”

Thus far, Seward has had to make multiple adjustments in both basketball and academics because of the increase in difficulty of both at the collegiate level.

“Basketball is very different, as there is a lot more structure, practice hours and weight training,” she said.

As for the academics, she said that high school was much easier but that she is learning you have to stay organized and on top of your school work in order to be successful.

Of this year’s freshmen, Seward has been getting the most playing time.

She averages about thirty minutes per game, making a huge contribution to the team during her time on the court.

“I handle the ball well, and even as a freshman, I try to keep the team together,” she said. “I think I bring a ‘spark’ to the team. I have a lot of energy and tend to get the energy going on the court.”

Anytime someone gets a steal or makes a three, she tries to get the team pumped up.

Seward, who averages 12 points a game, is not the only freshman who has made an impact this year.

Nicole Urbanick, Brianne Cohen and Chea Taylor round out the freshmen corps, and all have seen playing time.

“We definitely make each other better, and it’s not only the freshmen, but also the upperclassmen,” Seward said. “We go hard everyday, and keep a positive attitude constantly.”

Seward made the biggest impact of the first-year players during the first game of the season against Michigan, scoring 19 in the loss, the most points by any true Detroit freshman since the 2011-12 season.

“The key was to stay confident,” said Seward. “I was really nervous playing a Big Ten team like Michigan, just coming out of high school and not having this type of experience. But you just have to play your game and stay calm.”

This type of attitude has been her mindset all season.

She said the team’s chemistry has helped.

“The team gels very well together, and I think it has to do a lot with how we had the whole summer (to work) together,” she said. “The basketball team comes early, so we get to get to know each other and we all lived in the quads together, which I think really helped bring our team together.”

This chemistry was one of the reasons Seward recorded a career-high in points against Valparaiso.

Seward dominated with 28 points, breaking the school record for most points in a single game by a true freshman guard.

She said she had a “chip” on her shoulder going into the game.

Valparaiso recruited Seward, but stopped recruiting her because of her height.

Seward wanted to prove to Valparaiso that her level of talent more than makes up for her short stature.

As her college basketball career continues, Seward sees herself making an even larger impact on the team.

“In the next couple of years, I hope to become more of a leader,” she said. “As a freshman, you can’t really lead the same as much as an upperclassman, so I can’t wait for the next couple of years to come.”