Dove’s position changes, but role remains

By Todd McMahon

Her position on the court may have changed, but the impact of one Denise Dove is even more advantageous to the NIU women’s basketball team.

The playmaking extraordinaire may have used up her four years of player eligibility, but she is back in the NIU women’s basketball picture once again this year.

Dove switches from her on-the-court duties as point guard to student assistant for head coach Jane Albright-Dieterle—a position the all-time Huskie career assist leader (526) feels nothing in awe of.

“This all goes back to when I was a little kid,” Dove said. “My dad (Steve) was a high school and junior college coach, so I was always around that coaching atmosphere.”

Her knowledge only grew as she played under Albright-Dieterle for four years (1987-91). The New Hope, Minn., native was the play-caller and the leader on the court.

“She was a coach out there on the floor for us,” Albright-Dieterle said. “She has a great mind, and she’s one of the brightest players we’ve had.”

Dove is happy to be a part of this year’s team and finds things just a little different from her playing days. “It’s a very demanding job,” she said.

She also admits that there are times when she’d like to get back out there and run the team again. “Sometimes, I just want to go out on the court and play again,” Dove said.

Even though she can’t compete at the collegiate level anymore, Dove is happy to be with Albright-Dieterle in some capacity. “I trace a lot of what I know back to her,” Dove said. “The things she taught me are irreplaceable.”

Dove hopes to take that ever-increasing knowledge to more places in the future. “I’d very much like to get into coaching. I’ve been around it my whole life.

“I would like to first become a graduate assistant at a Top-20 school. NIU’s been a great place for me, but when you go into coaching, you want to hit different places to learn even more.”