The DePaul women's basketball team traveled to France, Aug. 11-22.
A veteran of the DePaul system, assistant coach Candis Blankson is entering her 14th season on the Blue Demon bench. A true champion of the DePaul program, Blankson wore the Blue Demon uniform in over 100 games from 1997-01 before moving into a coaching role prior to the 2001-02 campaign.
Corresponding with the start of the 2011-12 season, Blankson was named on 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 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.
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.
Overall team success lays the groundwork for individual accolades, and Brittany Hrynko was recognized as an Associated Press honorable mention All-America and Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) honorable mention All-America. Jasmine Penny was also a WBCA honorable mention All-America. Hrykno became the first DePaul player to earn back-to-back All-BIG EAST First Team honors.
The Blue Demons have put together 12 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including the program's first pair of Sweet 16 appearances in 2006-07 and 2010-11 -- both with Blankson on the bench.
Since Blankson joined the staff, the Blue Demons have won an impressive 293 games while putting together 20-win seasons 10 times. In the last 11 seasons alone, the Blue Demons have posted a winning percentage of .720 (260-101). During Blankson's tenure on the bench, she has worked with 39 all-conference performers, including two BIG EAST Freshman of the Year award-winners and three Sixth Player of the Year award-winners.
Off the court, the 2012-13 Blue Demons set a program record by recording the second-highest team GPA in the country.
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.