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Mountaineers' Diabate headed to Stonehill.

Byline: Jay Gearan

HOLDEN -- Wachusett Regional High senior Maty Diabate has accepted a full sports scholarship and signed her national letter of intent to attend Stonehill College in Easton next fall.

An exceptional three-sport athlete at Wachusett, the 5-foot-10 Diabate will play basketball for Stonehill.

The daughter of Fal and Georgette Diabate of Holden, Maty, 17, is also a volleyball and track and field standout.

An excellent student and a member of the National Honor Society, she said that she fell in love with the Stonehill campus on her recruitment visit to Easton. "It's so pretty,'' she said. "And I love the location. It's not far away from Boston.''

Diabate said she began playing basketball when she was only 5 years old, first in her driveway and then with recreational teams.

"I've played a lot of sports, but basketball is still my favorite. I really like playing defense,'' said Diabate, who has been a three-year varsity power forward for the Mountaineers, who begin their season with an opening practice Dec. 1.

Last year for the Mountaineers, Diabate turned in a terrific season, playing in 20 games and averaging 14.5 points per outing. Amassing 290 points as a junior, she scored 23 points against Leominster and 22 against Holy Name. In only three games did she score under double figures.

Diabate, along with senior Brittany Charlonne, will captain the 2014-15 Mountaineers girls' basketball team coached by Jim Oxford.

"Maty is a special person and a special basketball player,'' said Oxford. "She was always very athletic, but she has now become a basketball player. Her performance on the floor is now based on her solid understanding of the game. She can play the small forward, and power forward spots, along with the post. She can do it all.''

Diabate, even in her freshman year, helped the Mountaineers win the Division 1 Central Mass. championship.

"I love playing on a basketball team,'' said Diabate. "When you're with people for six days a week for four months, you become a family.''

Wachusett Director of Athletics Jen Lynch said, "Maty is one of the most gifted student-athletes I've had the pleasure to work with. She is a terrific student, and her positive energy and spirit have permeated throughout our athletic program. She is someone we will really miss next year, leaving her mark on our programs, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing her compete this basketball season. Stonehill College is an excellent institution, both academically and athletically, and I know Maty will experience similar success in that environment.''

Added Oxford, "Maty has really grown to become a real leader on our team. She and Brittany are great leaders, and I'm very excited about our upcoming season. We have good talent, and we've got experience with the other seniors Katie DiPilla and Casey Rotti.''

The Stonehill Skyhawks compete in the competitive Northeast-10 Conference, one of the largest NCAA Div. 2 conferences in the country.

Diabate plans on studying biology and chemistry at Stonehill and hopes someday to become a surgeon.

"I'm excited,'' said Diabate, thinking ahead to the fall of 2015. "I'm excited about starting a new chapter in my life.''

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Title Annotation:Weeklies
Author:Gearan, Jay
Publication:Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Date:Nov 28, 2014
Words:528
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