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Former Westminster High School standout Sophia Diehl commits to Colgate for D1 women’s hoops

Roland Park's Sophia Diehl, a former all-county standout at Westminster High School, runs toward the basket while McDonogh's Paris Locke guards in first-half action on Dec. 20, 2019.
Roland Park's Sophia Diehl, a former all-county standout at Westminster High School, runs toward the basket while McDonogh's Paris Locke guards in first-half action on Dec. 20, 2019. (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

Sophia Diehl, who transferred to Roland Park from Westminster High School halfway through her high school career, recently announced her verbal commitment to play Division I basketball at Colgate.

Diehl was a two-time Times first-team all-countian who helped lead the Owls to a Carroll County Athletic League championship in 2018 and an appearance in the Class 3A West Region final in 2019.

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At Roland Park, Diehl helped lead the Reds last season to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference semifinals against St. Frances, a rematch of the previous season’s A Conference championship game. The Reds lost 51-48, and Diehl scored seven points.

Diehl, an incoming senior, finished her first season at Roland Park as the Reds’ leading scorer with 12.7 points per game. She notched 7.1 rebounds, shot 42% from the floor, 44.5% from the 3-point line, and 82.4% from the free-throw line. She also earned All-Metro second-team recognition from the Baltimore Sun.

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“Sophia is an incredibly talented and humble student-athlete,” Reds coach Dani Steinbach said. “She approached this [commitment] process with a plan and asked fantastic questions. She took her time to really find the best fit for herself. She leaned on the people around her and asked great questions of our coaching staff to use all of her resources.”

Colgate plays in the Patriot League and the Raiders finished the 2019-20 season 19-11, good for the second-most wins in program history.

“I love the school,” Diehl said. “Something that sticks out to me about the Patriot League is that it values athletics and academics. It’s not either-or and I know I’m going to get a great education. I’m not going to play basketball for the rest of my life so I want a good education to get me grounded so I can move on with my future.”

Steinbach said Diehl made an immediate impact in helping the Reds find success this winter.

“My first impression of Sophia, without a doubt, is that she is one of the hardest working kids to step foot in a gym,” Steinbach said. “She has such a positive attitude and she just brought some energy, enthusiasm, and a work ethic to our program.

“That was really impressive.”

Diehl emerged as one of Westminster’s top threats as a freshman in the 2017-18 season. She finished as the team’s second leading scorer with 10.6 points per game. She had 5.1 rebounds and led the team in field-goal percentage (49.1) and free-throw percentage (73.1).

Diehl completed her sophomore season with 11.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

“I learned a lot for being a freshman on varsity,” Diehl said. “I knew it was going to be tough because I was one of the younger players and you have to find your way and listen to what other people are saying and just go from there. You’re going to face obstacles and it’s important to learn how people respond to leadership and stuff.”

Diehl has been playing for the Maryland Belles AAU team since her freshman year and said the organization encourages its players to be inclusive and acknowledge everyone’s accomplishments, not just those within your own team.

Her playing career dates back to at least second grade, and Diehl said she has high expectations for her final season at Roland Park — discipline herself and continue to maintain a competitive mindset for the future.

“She set herself up for being able to take the next step in such a positive way,” Steinbach said. “She handled the process so well, and we get one more year with her … I know without a doubt that she’s going to take that same work ethic and that same positive approach to whatever program it is and I think Colgate is so lucky to get her.”

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