First came to DePaul in 1968 to play for legendary coach Ray Meyer
Blue Demon women's basketball coach effected a culture change after 1997 NCAA tournament
One of the top recruits in the state and Midwest enhances nationally ranked program
After collecting over 200 toys the DePaul women's basketball and spirit teams delivered them to St. Vincent de Paul
The Blue Demons adopt a Rogers Park Family
The DePaul women's basketball team traveled to France, Aug. 11-22.
Corresponding with the start of the 2011-12 season, Blankson was named one of the Top 25 High Major Women's College Basketball Assistants by Jason Belzer from CollegeInsider.com.
Twelve seasons ago, she added recruiting to her responsibilities in addition to working with the players and day-to-day operations of the DePaul women's basketball program.
The Blue Demons have put together 13 straight NCAA Tournament appearances – a streak only matched by seven (Connecticut, Duke, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford and Tennessee) other NCAA DI teams. DePaul also advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2006, 2011 and 2014.
Since Blankson joined the staff, the Blue Demons have won an impressive 320 games while putting together 20-win seasons 11 times. In the last 12 seasons alone, the Blue Demons have posted a winning percentage of .725 (287-109). DePaul has also won back-to-back BIG EAST Regular Season and Tournament titles in 2014 and 2015.
During Blankson's tenure on the bench, she has worked with 45 all-conference performers, including two BIG EAST Freshman of the Year award-winners, three Sixth Player of the Year award-winners, two BIG EAST Tournament MVP and the 2015 BIG EAST Player of the Year in Brittany Hrynko.
Making academics a priority, the Blue Demons have become a mainstay in the WBCA Team Academic Poll. The Blue Demons broke into the top 10 in the poll in 2011 and have ranked as high as No. 2 in 2012-13 when Blue Demons set a program record by recording the second-highest team GPA in the country. Last season DePaul ranked third in the WBCA Poll, while the program moved it streak to eight consecutive seasons with the highest GPA in the BIG EAST.
Last season, Blankson played a big role in DePaul repeating as both the BIG EAST regular season and tournament champions. She helped mentor BIG EAST Player of the Year and 19th overall selection in the WNBA Draft Brittany Hrynko. Megan Podkowa was also named the BIG EAST Tournament MVP while six other players were named to a BIG EAST all-conference roster or to the league’s all-tournament team.
The Blue Demons brought nationwide acclaim to the sport of women's basketball in 2014 with a 104-100 triumph over Oklahoma in the 2014 NCAA tournament opener. It was the highest scoring regulation game in the history of the NCAA women's tournament.
Also during the 2013-14 season, DePaul (29-7) tied the school record for most wins in a season and set program records for games played (36), points (3,006), three-point baskets (314) and assists (705). The Blue Demons advanced to their third NCAA Sweet 16 after claiming their first BIG EAST regular-season and tournament titles.
As a student-athlete, Blankson etched her name in the DePaul record books during her four seasons. She finished her career ranked eighth all-time with 72 three-point field goals and 22nd with 104 games played. She registered 33 double-figure scoring games in her career, including 19 times as a senior.
In her senior season, the 5-9 guard was one of the most versatile players on the roster as she led the team with 28.3 minutes per game and 70 offensive rebounds, while her 85 assists were second on the squad. Blankson ranked in the top 25 in Conference USA in five different categories. She was 13th in assists and three-point field goal percentage, 14th in offensive rebounds, 15th in three-pointers made and 22nd in scoring.
As much as she excelled on the court, Blankson was just as good in the classroom. She was a three-time Conference USA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll member and twice nominated as an Academic All-American. Her effort in the classroom helped DePaul to finish in the WBCA Academic Top 20 in two of her last three seasons.
The valedictorian at Hillcrest High School was a National Scholastic Coaches Association All-American Scholar Athlete. She was also named a Chicago Tribune Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a member of the National Honor Society. Basketball runs in the Blankson family as two of Candis' brothers played Division I college basketball. Ryan played at Loyola-Chicago while Odartey played at both Marquette and UNLV.
Blankson is a member of the WBCA and resides in Chicago.
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