Maggie Duchene (Hampton, NH) has flown under the radar because she has attended a prep school in Maine since 5th grade, but has put up strong scoring and rebounding numbers for the past couple years for some tough teams at Berwick Academy. Duchene has emerged as a versatile inside/outside player, capable of scoring the basketball in a variety of ways while also playing good defense.
Duchene is now a senior at Berwick, and has become the latest local product from the Class of 2015 to commit to play college ball. She has verbally committed to Kenyon College, which is located in Ohio and competes in the Division III's North Coast Athletic Conference.
"I knew that I wanted to go to a small liberal arts school that had a good basketball program" Duchene told the NH Notebook. "I considered schools in New England, California and the Midwest. Last spring and this past summer I put together game tape, a highlight film, and a sort of 'athletic resume' and send it out to about 15 schools that I was interested in learning more about. Once I heard back from coaches that were interested in learning more about me I set up college visits with them and signed up for recruiting camps all over New England and in California. Kenyon first saw me at the Harvard Crimson Elite Weekend this past June. I originally signed up for the camp because some of the coaches I had been emailing with were going and I wanted them to see me play (at that point Kenyon was not on my college list yet). After the Crimson Weekend I got an email from the Kenyon Assistant Coach and we continued talking throughout the summer and fall. I did my overnight visit this fall and I knew that Kenyon was the place for me."
While attending Berwick has resulted in her flying under the radar in NH basketball circles, Duchene has had a very positive experience at the school - on and off the court.
"I started at Berwick in fifth grade, and I definitely think that the Upper School has prepared me for college life and academics" said Duchene, a 5-foot-8 wing forward. "At Berwick there is a rigorous academic atmosphere that highlights and encourages students to get the most out of their education which has pushed me and motivated me to work hard and achieve good grades. Berwick has also taught me how to manage my time. I commute to school 45 minutes each way and most nights I do not start my homework (anywhere from 2-5 hours a night) until seven at night. Being at Berwick has taught me how to manage and balance school, sports, and a social life which I think is so important for college students. Berwick has taught me how to succeed in my academic and athletic worlds without compromising my social life."
Playing basketball at Berick, as well as on the AAU circuit for NH Elite and head coach Dustin Freeman have both helped Duchene take her game to the next level.
"The combination of Berwick and NH Elite has definitely helped me become a better basketball player said Duchene. "These two programs have completely different offenses and defensive schemes and different game types, so I have learned to play two very different games of basketball. I have been playing on the Varsity team at Berwick since 8th grade and over the past four years I have played a 4 or a 5 position as a high post and the 5 position in a zone defensive scheme. This has developed my ability to drive to the basket, rebound, pick and roll, and shoot the 12-15 foot jump shot. Over my four years on the team at Berwick I have gotten to play against girls who were not only physically stronger but they were vastly more talented than I was at the time. This helped me become not only a more physically tough player but it also improve my basketball IQ. In our league, the Eastern Independent League we play with a thirty second shot clock and we play schools from all over MA, NH, and ME. We have anywhere from 22-25 games a season and our average traveling time is about an hour and half. I think that all of these things about playing at Berwick have definitely taught me how to deal with a tough/long game schedule, how to manage time, how to play under pressure, and how to prepare for long road games. NH Elite is man to man defense and five out offense team. NH Elite helped me develop my skills as wing player and improve my outside shooting/dribbling.
Academics also played a role in Duchene's decision to attend Kenyon.
"Right now I plan on majoring in biology or chemistry and be on Kenyon’s pre-med/pre-vet track" Duchene concluded.
Duchene certainly appears to be on the right track to be successful in college, both on and off the court.