Steen's Stellar Career Winds DownThis feature appeared in the Penn-Princeton game program
When asked to reflect back on her senior year Dartmouth women's basketball player Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.) can't really believe that she's a senior
"This has gone so fast," said Steen. "I really feel like I was just a freshman yesterday and here I am down to my final year here at Dartmouth."
It might feel like Steen just walked onto campus yesterday but she has been an important piece of the Dartmouth women's basketball puzzle from the start. She came in as a rookie and was second on the team in scoring and never looked back. She is a two-time second team All-Ivy League selection and has played in over 100 career games while leading the Dartmouth squad in scoring in each of the last three seasons.
Steen, affectionately known as Ziggy, is competitive and that word might not even be enough to describe her competitive nature and basketball has been her competitive outlet from a young age.
"Anyone who knows me knows that I'm extremely competitive," said Steen. "It's kind of to the point where it's a little ridiculous sometimes and basketball is my outlet for me to get that competitive energy out. I just love the game. It's fast-paced, exciting and popular. It's something that I've always had an inclination toward and I've always been pretty good at it so its something that comes relatively easy."
If you watch Steen play, you can tell that she is a competitor by nature and scoring is something that she takes quite a bit of pride in. Last season, Steen became Dartmouth's 16th 1,000-point scorer and also had the pleasure of knocking down a career-high 32 points in a win over Vermont, on her birthday nonetheless. It's a moment that she counts as one of her top moments during her time at Dartmouth.
"Last year, when I had my career high at Vermont on my birthday, was definitely one of the highlights of my career," said Steen. "It was nice to be able to look up in the stands and see my mom there. Having her watch my play in person was nice because she doesn't get to see me in person that often."
Steen is close with her mom and counts her as someone that she aspires to be like as she matures.
"My biggest inspiration is my mom," said Steen. "She is someone that has been through a lot of things in her life and is someone that is very strong, mentally strong, and I definitely admire that. She's someone who I aspire to be like as I get older."
Speaking of getting older, Steen is starting to think about what she wants to be when she "grows up"
"My dream job would be some type of job that requires me to just sit down and read all day because I'm a bit of a bookworm! I love to read," said Steen. In all seriousness, anything where I'm helping people will be fine. I like psychology because it's studying the behavior of people and helping people with their issues. I really like helping people and anything where I can do that and look forward to going to work everyday is fine with me."
As her time at Dartmouth winds down, Steen reflects back on her teammates past and present and is grateful for the "big sisters" and "little sisters" she has become close with during her collegiate career.
"The class of 2011 that graduated two years ago, had four seniors and when I came in as a freshman they all looked out for me and pretty much took me under their wings. I consider them to be big sisters," said Steen. "They helped me with my transition to college, especially being so far from home. Just to have that family, and have people that have your best interest and are looking out for you was big for me. I also loved playing basketball with that group. They were supportive as far as basketball, in helping to get me acclimated to the system and always making sure I knew what was going on in practice and helping me out. I definitely miss them."
Not to leave out any of this year's team, Steen is also going to miss playing with her current team, especially point guard Nicola Zimmer.
"I'm also really going to miss playing with Nicola," said Steen. "I've never really had a solid point guard to play with like her, someone who is so court savvy like she is. It's been a great experience playing with her the last three years and I'll definitely miss that. We also have this whole competitive spirit between us, so I'm going to miss that too."
Head coach Chris Wielgus is known for her quotes and sayings and one thing that she says often is "sometime you have to play the pretend game" and this is something that has stuck and will stick with Steen as she moves out into the world.
"That means that sometime you might not be having the greatest day, you have an exam and this or that going on, but when its time to practice and work you have to be ready to do that. That applies to everything in life. Even in the workforce, ... you always have to be in the moment and ready to go regardless of whatever else is going on. It's something that I will always carry with me."
With her final basketball season just a few weeks away from wrapping up, Steen wants to be remembered as someone who worked hard and left Dartmouth women's basketball better than it was. I don't think any of that is in question.