Seeing Dominic Bledsoe ’21 play the game of basketball is a sight to behold. Whether it’s attacking opponents off the dribble or locking down the best guards in the league on defense, Bledsoe has been one of the best players on the Ole basketball team since his freshman year. A two-way guard who tries his hardest on both ends of the court, Bledsoe has been awarded MIAC All-Defensive Team for three straight seasons while also being the floor general for the squad’s offense. When he announced that he would be coming back for a fifth year, you can already guess how everyone reacted: with pure joy. But before we go into the details of his decision for the future, we must rewind to the interesting backstory of his past.
Bledsoe grew up in the city of Falcon Heights. He attended DeLaSalle High School in downtown Minneapolis, a basketball powerhouse known throughout the entire country.
“Yeah, we won a couple of championships.” Bledsoe said. That’s to say the least. DeLaSalle has won seven of the last eight state championships in Minnesota’s AAA division with Bledsoe being on the team for two of them.
Playing alongside multiple DI recruits and competing against them in practice every day while being coached by an amazing defensive mind in Dave Thorson, you can see where Bledsoe learned his defensive grit.
During his senior season in high school, Bledsoe got recruited to St. Olaf by Men’s Basketball Head Coach Daniel Kosmoski, and the rest was history.
“I’ve gotten the opportunity to play with a lot of great teammates,” Bledsoe said. “It has been a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed every minute.”
Bledsoe has been a part of many key victories and playoff runs that the Oles have had throughout the years, but none have ended in a conference title. Wanting to finish on top was definitely a deciding factor for Bledsoe when he decided to come back for one last run.
“Nobody is perfect – everyone is still a work in progress,” Bledsoe explained when asked about his off-season preparation. “The three-point line is moving back and I have to get used to it. Also, ball-handling, shooting, I just have to keep getting better.”
Another factor in his return is undoubtedly the potential of next year’s roster to compete at a high level. With all but one player returning, Bledsoe has big goals set in stone for the team. As a natural competitor, he wants nothing less than to be able to leave this program with something that will last long after he is gone from the hardwood: a championship banner.
“Accolades are great, but really what I want to be remembered as is a great teammate and someone who has passed on wisdom to the younger guys to look back on.”
Fifth year or not, Bledsoe has the same passion for the game as he did when he first stepped on campus in the fall of 2017. In his final season, you can expect Bledsoe to leave his heart on the court every game.