Noontime’s Senior Salute: Erica DeCandido (Tufts University)

Erica DeCandido averaged 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this past winter for the Tufts University women’s basketball team. (PHOTO COURTESY: Alonso Nichols / Tufts University)

By | @NoontimeNation 

This past winter, Erica DeCandido was the player to watch on the Tufts University women’s basketball team.

The North Wales, Pennsylvania native averaged career-bests in points per game (16.7) and rebounds (8.7) in 29 contests while leading Tufts to a 28-1 overall record.

Recognized as the 2020 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Year, DeCandido scored 20 points or more seven times this past winter while netting a career-high 28 points in her team’s 78-60 win over Wesleyan University. Additionally, she pulled down 10 rebounds or more in 10 contests and recorded nine double-doubles.

DeCandido scored 1,397 points in 119 games with the Jumbos to go with 685 rebounds, 317 assists, 166 steals, and 67 blocks.

We recently spoke with Erica about her final season with the Jumbos, as well as where she is headed after graduation later this spring.

Despite the way the season concluded, what will you remember most about your senior year?

I will definitely miss the camaraderie. My teammates are my best friends, and college basketball gives you such a great opportunity to do something you love with all the people you love.

Despite all of the wins and that one loss (from this past season), I will remember how much fun we had from (competing on the road) to our bus trips, team meetings, and so much more.

Looking back on the 2019-20 season, what game (or games) will you remember most? Why these games?

I will remember our two road games against Amherst College and Bowdoin College. I think the Amherst game was one of the first games in my collegiate career where we went into overtime which was very intense. The Bowdoin game featured some amazing fans and neither team could miss (a shot). Both were such different games but against two great teams, and we won them both.

What have you enjoyed most about competing for the Tufts women’s basketball team (and program) these past four years?

I’ve certainly enjoyed the high level of competition, not only in the NESCAC but in our everyday practices, too. I was able to play in the D-III National Championship my freshman year, win a NESCAC championship while having an amazing time with my friends. As cheesy as that sounds, that’s why I love playing for this team. We are super close and were able to compete for championships. 

Once you officially graduate later this spring, do you plan to stay involved with the sport in some capacity? Any interest in coaching?

I definitely would love to stay involved with the sport. I do not think I will become a coach (at some point) but I would love to work for basketball non-profits, so I can teach this game I love so much. 

What interested you in pursuing a degree in cognitive brain science? What do you hope to do with your degree after graduation?

I find the brain and psychology very fascinating. We all have brains, but it’s so interesting to see how different things can impact one from the other. It’s fun to learn about what goes on behind people’s actions, thoughts, and decisions.

I currently have a job lined up in New York City, doing client services for a company called Guidepoint.

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