Lauren Dickerson never thought she would be in this position.
With two regular season games remaining, the senior guard is just 14 points away from breaking the Miami women’s basketball all-time scoring record. The current record is held by Courtney Osborn, who scored 2,166 points in a RedHawk uniform from 2009-2013.
However, if someone would’ve told the 5’3” star as a freshman that she would have a chance to eclipse Osborn’s record, she wouldn’t have believed it.
“I would’ve laughed at them, probably,” Dickerson said. “I didn’t really come in thinking I was gonna be breaking records, really. I just came in trying to make a name for myself, and I guess I have.”
That, she has.
Dickerson has never missed a game during her Miami career and was a starter in all but one. She’s been first team All-MAC the past two years and was the MAC Freshman of the Year in 2017. The dynamic point guard has led the team in both scoring and assists all four years in a RedHawk uniform.
Dickerson’s name is everywhere on Miami’s all-time record list. She’s the program’s all-time leader in field goals made, and she broke Osborn’s record for 3-pointers made against Kent State on February 22 with over 300 and counting. The next game, Dickerson broke another one of Osborn’s records with her 49th career 20-point game.
Although it’s Dickerson’s scoring ability that gets her recognition, she’s also been moving up the all-time assist leaderboard at Miami. Dickerson has dished out 577 assists in her career, tied with Osborn for second in RedHawk history. She needs just 20 more to become Miami’s all-time leader.
The point guard takes a lot of pride in her passing ability.
“I feel like if I can make the assist, that’s way cooler than hitting a three,” Dickerson said.
Simply put, Dickerson is one of Miami’s all-time greats. A statistical case could be made that she’s the best women’s player in the school’s history. When asked about her legacy, the shifty guard said she wanted to be remembered as a tough but exciting player to watch.
“And even though she’s little, she can still do it,” Dickerson said.
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And there it is. The 5-foot-3 elephant in the room.
Despite her skill level, Dickerson has been doubted due to her height many times over her career.
“They still do [doubt me],” Dickerson said.
“You can't guard me.”
Of course, guarding Dickerson is easier said than done. DeUnna Hendrix found out first-hand last season. As the head coach of High Point University at the time, Hendrix brought her squad into Oxford and came out on the losing end of a 68-55 game. Dickerson was Miami’s leading scorer with 16 points.
When Hendrix took the head coaching job last spring, she already knew the type of talent she had in her new star player.
“I got a small dosage of what she was able to do, but watching it every day in practice, I mean, the kid is unreal,” Hendrix said. “I knew in the first, probably, five minutes of a practice when we first got on campus how exciting it was gonna be just to sorta watch her do her thing.”
One thing her coach has discovered about Dickerson is her high basketball IQ. The point guard’s ability to think through situations has led Hendrix to rely on her input during games, as the two frequently have conversations on the sideline.
“She has a better basketball mind than people give her credit for,” Hendrix said.
Dickerson has been described as quiet and introverted off the court. However, it’s her energy on the court that gives her team a boost.
“You can tell when she’s really engaged, that big ol’ smile, and the energy that she brings just naturally when her teammates are doing well,” Hendrix said. “Moreso on the court, you see all of her personality come out there, and it’s pretty infectious.”
Just because she’s quiet doesn’t mean Dickerson doesn’t have personality off the court, though. Her coach describes her as a goofball and says she’s constantly singing — but stops anytime her coaches walk in the room.
“She has a personality all her own,” Hendrix said. “I’m just waiting for the world to see it.”
They have only a few opportunities left, as Dickerson's career in Oxford is soon coming to an end. After graduation, Dickerson hopes to keep playing basketball. If that doesn’t work out, she would like to be involved in the media somehow, maybe working in sports broadcasting. Her degree will be in Interactive Media Studies.
Dickerson’s Miami career isn’t over yet, though. The program legend will don a RedHawk jersey for at least three more games, including this Wednesday’s contest at Millett Hall, with the team hosting Bowling Green for Senior Night. This will be Dickerson’s last game at Millett Hall and the perfect opportunity for her to become the program’s leading scorer.
“It would be an honor,” Dickerson said. “Definitely a way to end my career, and end it at Millett would be a very special feeling, and with all my family coming and all that, it would make me happy.”
Breaking your school’s all-time scoring record in your last home game on senior night?
That sounds like a storybook ending if there ever was one.
For Dickerson, it’s the perfect ending to a legendary career she never could’ve imagined.