Saturday, August 1, 2020

On the Beat With Natisha Hiedeman

I have followed Natisha Hiedeman's career from her time with Marquette. Based in Chicago, I covered the DePaul women's basketball team, but also occasionally made the trek north to watch the Golden Gophers. Now, I get to cover Hiedeman in the WNBA.
Nicknamed Tee as long as she can remember, Hiedeman said the “Spoon” was added when her family saw that she was going to be a baller. The “Spoon” is a nod to the legendary Teresa Weatherspoon, who played 10 seasons in the WNBA during her Hall of Fame career.
Hiedeman was a star basketball player at Green Bay Southwest High School. She was the Green Bay metro area's leading scorer with 1,773 points, averaging 25.6 points per game as a senior.
Hiedeman's athletic prowess was not limited to the basketball court, though. She was a multi-sport athlete who was a nine-time WIAA state qualifier in track and field, won the state triple jump title in 2014, and qualified for the state tournament in tennis during her senior season. Basketball was her passion however, and she chose to continue her court career at Marquette.
At Marquette, Hiedeman started 125 games and played in 130 over her four season, averaging 32.1 minutes per game. She shot 41.3% from the field, 35.8% from three point territory and 70.2% from the free throw line. She had 110 offensive rebounds and 511 defensive boards, averaging 4.8 total per game. She also averaged 3.5 assists per game, while having 52 total blocks and 245 steals in her career. Hiedeman scored 1913 points for a 14.3 points per game average. Her career highs were 34 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists, three blocks and seven steals.
The Minnesota Lynx selected Hiedeman with the eighteenth overall pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft. Hiedeman was the highest draft pick of any Marquette basketball player in school history and the highest for the Big East Conference since conference re-alignment. This started a bit of a whirlwind for Hiedeman. The Lynx immediately traded her to the Connecticut Sun, who eventually waived her prior to the start of the season. The Atlanta Dream signed her in June, but she did not appear in any games before being waived. The Sun resigned Hiedeman and she stayed with the team for the rest of the season. 
For the Sun, Hiedeman played 20 games, averaging 10.3 minutes per game. She also averaged 1.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, .4 steals and 3.7 points per game. This season in her first two games, her numbers are up across the board. While it is still early, it's a good sign of things to come.
I have been a fan of Hiedeman since her Marquette days. While I covered the DePaul Blue Demons regularly, I occasionally ventured north to see the Golden Eagles. Hiedeman is such an exciting player. I once saw her hit about 15 straight shots from the corner in pre-game warmups. It was quite a display, but not a rare occurrence. Hiedeman always could shoot.
In the pro league, she admits, she is a bit undersized, but smaller players have succeeded. In the interview below, she talks about the transition to the pro leagues, as well as her focus in training to be ready for the WNBA's bigger, stronger players. I also asked her about meeting her namesake Weatherspoon. Lastly, Hiedeman mentioned her newest music to be released tomorrow (August 2) on all platforms.
I thank Hiedeman for her time and consideration. I thank the WNBA and the Sun organization for this opportunity.
Check for news on the league. Also go to for my recurring coverage of the WNBA and other great news about women in sports.

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