Katherine Vaughan Breaks Record in Second Year of Basketball at Brandeis

April 18, 2024
BHS graduate Katherine Vaughan finished her second season of basketball at Brandeis University, breaking the school’s single season blocked shot record. Courtesy photo

Katherine Vaughan, a 2022 Bedford High School graduate, finished up her sophomore basketball season at Brandeis University with great success, including breaking a school record. Setting the single season block record, racking up 39 blocks during the 2023-2024 season, is a remarkable accomplishment, made even more impressive by the fact that she did it in only her second year on the team.

For Vaughan, the record is “a significant indicator of improvement and hard work and something to be proud of.” 

It is also something that is “a motivator and sets a tone for the future” where she will continue to compete with herself and not become complacent.   

Breaking the record came as a bit of a surprise because Vaughan was unaware of how close she was until the game before, but she is grateful it worked out this way because it allowed her to be present and focus on what was needed every moment to help her team succeed.  

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Vaughan saw this season on the Brandeis women’s team as a time of growth and of defining roles and leadership. A major element was further developing her personal skill sets and confidence. She took a big leap from her freshman to sophomore year, shifting from being more of a facilitator to becoming a key scoring contributor and individual offensive threat while also letting her persistent and tenacious effort on defense shine. 

Her new role was highlighted perfectly in one of Brandeis’s games versus Bridgewater State where Vaughan’s key plays fueled a comeback win, including scoring the game-winning layup with 0.8 seconds left.

While there are huge differences between playing a sport in high school and at the collegiate level, including the pace of the game and level of athleticism, looking back, she feels her time at BHS prepared her well for playing basketball at the next level. 

In her experience, the quality of the Bedford school system prepared her for college academics and finding the balance of being a student-athlete. She also mentions the role former Bedford Girls’ Basketball Coach Alvin Mayard played in her development and transition from high school to college. She thanks Coach Mayard for “reinforcing the idea that I was capable of going on to play in college.” 

Katherine Vaughan in action for Brandeis in a game against Chicago. Courtesy photo

Vaughan admits that she started the recruiting process much later than most, but Coach Mayard’s support throughout the process and complete confidence in her and her ability encouraged her to pursue and achieve this dream.  

A piece of advice she has for aspiring college athletes is to try to find a place where you fit in with the team as well as the school community as a whole. While it’s very easy to focus your attention on the quality of athletics and competitiveness of a program when making your decision, she learned that it is also important to want the place you’ve chosen to spend the next four years to be somewhere you can thrive and feel accepted and supported in many areas, even without your sport.

At Brandeis, she feels fortunate to have found “amazing teammates and people that will always be a part of my life,” which is a huge reassurance that she made the right decision. 

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Bridget Sheahan is a Bedford High School, Class of 2024 student.

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