Yes she’s tall, but height alone is not what makes Newton native Kate Lehman a great shot blocker. She works at it.
“There’s a lot of people throughout the country that are that tall,” said Fort Hays State head women’s coach Tony Hobson. “But there’s very few that can move like her, she’s increased her strength and she doesn’t get in foul trouble often. And that’s the key.”
In just two and a half seasons Lehman has shattered the Mid-American Intercollegiate Association record for career blocked shots and she sixth all-time in NCAA Division II in blocked shots in a career. She also leads the nation in shots blocked per game this season, averaging five per game.
“Blocking shots is a unique talent, it’s not really something you can teach,” said Hobson. “It just comes to people. To break the record this early in the career with a season and a half left is remarkable.
Lehman though is much more modest about her accomplishment.
“(The record) wasn’t very high,” joked Lehman. “I mean it’s cool, it’s a nice accomplishment, but there is more that I can do.”
And Lehman proves every night she is more than just a shot blocker. She is on the road to becoming one of the most complete players to ever wear a Lady Tigers uniform. Her 15 double-doubles is fourth in the nation. She’s also 14th in the nation in rebounding. She says her success can all be attributed to hard work and good teammates.
“It’s just practice and lifting weights and stuff like that,” said Lehman. “And practicing against girls like Tera Ingalsbe and Kate Edwards has really helped out, too.”