Natasha Pacheco – Taking Flight with the Hawks Rookie
Published on: April 1, 2020
With the conclusion of the 2019-2020 basketball season, the Becker College Hawks and their fans can look back with admiration and enthusiasm from the stellar rookie season of Natasha Pacheco of the women’s basketball team.
Pacheco emerged as one of the most promising up-and-coming players in the region, as the freshman forward claimed both the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) and Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Rookie of the Year awards. She is the first Hawk ever to be so recognized with both accolades, and just the third Hawk ever to be named the top rookie in the NECC.
“It felt really surprising,” Pacheco said of winning the two prestigious awards. “I wasn’t expecting it. But I’m happy, humbled, and grateful for it.”
Pacheco averaged 11.7 rebounds per game for the Hawks with 8.3 points, 3.3 assists, and 1.9 steals. She led Becker in rebounding, assists, field goal percentage, and assist-to-turnover ratio.
Pacheco credited her coaches and teammates for her success.
“My team and coaches really helped me all season,” Pacheco said. “They believed in me and what I could do on and off the court.”
“I knew that she would have a chance at winning [Rookie of the Year], as she is a student of the game,” said Women’s Basketball Head Coach David Bostick. “I don’t think it could’ve happened to a better person. This award shows just how hard she works; I’m proud of how much she has grown in so little time.”
“Coach is just very reassuring,” Pacheco said of Bostick’s coaching style. “He’s always encouraging me to be the best player I can be and not overthink things.”
Pacheco’s impact was apparent right from the start of the season. In just her second week, she was named NECC and WACBA Rookie of the Week, as well as Becker Athlete of the Week. She posted four double-doubles in just her first five games. She would go on to be named NECC Rookie of the Week and WACBA Rookie of the Week three times apiece.
“Natasha is a great teammate,” Bostick said. “She is always positive and provides guidance to those who need it. She’s a player that other players look up to, and will be a leader for this program.”
The Hawks went 9-5 in conference play this past season, achieving the fourth seed in the NECC playoffs and reaching the semifinals of the championship tournament.
“Obviously, we want to go further than we did last year,” Pacheco said, anticipating the 2020-2021 season. “The [NECC] championship and then the [NCAA] tournament is where we want to go.”
Hailing from Fairfax, Virginia, Pacheco talked about her decision to come to Becker.
“I chose Becker because, first off, Coach was really nice when he recruited me,” she said. “I visited the campus and really liked the environment. I met the team and felt I really fit in well.”
Pacheco, a forensic science major, also chose Becker because it offered the academic program.
Becker fans can look forward to see what’s in store for Natasha and the Hawks next year!
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