Next fall, scholar and athlete Glory Blethen will trade her Boothbay Region’s blue and gold for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s blue and orange. Blethen will attend the New London, Connecticut service academy and play Division III basketball for Coach Alex Ivensheck’s team. Blethen is a four-year starter for Boothbay Region and member of the 2019 girls state champion basketball team.
As a senior, Blethen considered all of her collegiate options to play basketball. She wanted to pursue a career at sea and serve in the military. Blethen narrowed her options to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Merchant Marine Academy in King’s Island, New York. Last month, she was one of 42 Maine high school seniors receiving a nomination for admission into one of the four U.S.service academies. Blethen received a congressional nomination into the Merchant Marine.
After careful consideration, she chose the Coast Guard. “I really like their mission statement (ensure our nation's maritime safety, security and stewardship). Serving my country is important to me. When I visited the campus, I loved the culture and especially the leadership aspect of their educational program,” she said.
Entering her senior year, Blethen is a “few hundred” points away from achieving the 1,000-point milestone. Since her sophomore year, colleges have recruited the lanky Boothbay forward at American Athletic Union (AAU) tournaments. She met Ivensheck during one of those tournaments. The Coast Guard competes in the New England Men’s and Women's Athletic Conference. Blethen began considering playing for a service academy after her sister Faith Blethen visited West Point during a college visit. So Ivansheck had an early advantage in recruiting Glory Blethen, who already envisioned a military service career.
Ivansheck recruited Blethen for two years. In Blethen’s conversations with Ivensheck it appears the 6-foot one-inch forward will be the tallest player on her new team next season. “I’m super excited about playing basketball in college. I really like the program, and it looks like it will be great competition,” she said.
Basketball has been an important part of her life and playing collegiate basketball has been a long term goal. While her basketball career was not the main factor in picking a college, it played a role. Her top two choices are both NCAA Division III programs.
Blethen believes the Coast Guard is a better fit for her long term future. After graduation, she must remain in the Coast Guard for five years. “The commitment isn’t a big deal because I’m hoping for a 30-year career. I’m looking forward to serving my country, and where I’m assigned after (college) graduation is based on my class rank,” she said.
Once she completes her four-year Coast Guard education, Blethen will be an officer assigned to a Coast Guard base. “I could be on a cutter in Alaska, an icebreaker or a small ship,” she said.
Blethen will pursue a project management degree in college. She will receive a free education and earn money while at sea.