Jan. 4, 2010
BERKELEY - Growing up in Long Beach, Calif., freshman infielder/utility Diane Leider is this year's freshman class' only recruit from Southern California. Leider was her squad's 2009 and 2008 defensive player of the year at Lakewood High School and was a three-time all-league second-team selection. Helping her team to three years as Moore League champions, the Lancers reached the CIF semifinals her senior year and the quarterfinals during her junior and sophomore seasons. A four-year varsity soccer player at Lakewood High School, Leider is also talented in the classroom, graduating with high honors and a 3.97 grade-point average. Leider's uncle, Richard, and a cousin, Megan, also attended Cal. Parents are Leo and Rossana Leider. Leider lists working in sports marketing or becoming a doctor as two possible career options. CalBears.com caught up with Leider to learn about her first months in college, life off the diamond and more.
CalBears.com: What has been the hardest, most surprising aspect about transitioning from high school to college?
Diane Leider: The hardest aspect was moving away from home and having to be responsible when it came to time management.
CalBears.com: What has been your favorite part about college life so far?
DL: Meeting so many new people and being in a completely different environment, as well as being given so many new opportunities.
CalBears.com: What is your favorite part about softball? When did you get started in softball?
DL: My favorite part about softball is that it's always a challenge. To hit a softball is the hardest thing in sports...so I hear. I got started when I was 10-years-old when I brought home a flyer and said, "Dad, I want to play softball!"
CalBears.com: Do you have any outside hobbies? Do you have any unique stories about yourself or qualities that set you apart from your teammates?
DL: I love to draw and love anything athletic. Many people don't know this, but I was a model for Baby Gap when I was younger and have been in a couple commercials.
CalBears.com: What would you like people to remember about you after you leave Cal?
DL: I would like people to remember the passion I always had on the field and in the classroom. Also that you should never let people stop you from obtaining your dreams. I didn't, and now mine are coming true.
CalBears.com: What were your initial impressions of Berkeley?
DL: My initial impression was that the community was very friendly and involved with the school. My next thought was...wow, there are a lot of hills here!
CalBears.com: Now that you're in your seventh week of college, what advice do you wish someone had told you about college or would you give to incoming student-athletes?
DL: I wish someone had told me about all the walking us freshmen do. But besides that, my advice would be to always keep up with your reading nd don't forget to enjoy yourself.