Watch CBS News

Princeton University basketball player hopes to inspire Asian American girls to embrace sports

Princeton's Kaitlyn Chen hopes to inspire more Asian American girls to try sports
Princeton's Kaitlyn Chen hopes to inspire more Asian American girls to try sports 02:10

PRINCETON, N.J. (CBS) -- A Princeton University student is breaking barriers in women's college basketball.

Senior guard Kaitlyn Chen, 22, was the captain of the Tigers this year. She credits a lot to being raised by Taiwanese immigrants.

"My parents really emphasized hard work growing up and I feel like that sort of translated to the basketball aspect of my life," said Chen.

According to the NCAA, Asian Americans account for only 1.3% of female college basketball players.

"It's pretty special," Chen said. "I think it's pretty cool to see that there have been a lot more successful Asian American players."

Kaitlyn Chen dribbles during a NCAA tournament game
Kaitlyn Chen #20 of the Princeton Tigers dribbles the ball against the West Virginia  Mountaineers during the first round of the 2024 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on March 23 in Iowa City, Iowa. Rebecca Gratz/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

When Chen started as a freshman, she was the only Asian American player on the team. This year, she was one of three players of Asian descent playing for the Tigers.

"This is one of our most diverse teams we've ever had at Princeton," head coach Carla Berube said.

Chen led her team to the NCAA Tournament three times while studying for her major in medical anthropology. Berube said Chen has made a big impact.

"She works very hard," Berube said. "She's a great role model for the younger players on our team."

Chen hopes to inspire more young Asian Americans to embrace sports.

"They should just do it," Chen said. "It's a lot of fun. I think there's no harm in trying."

Chen is set to graduate from Princeton this spring and transfer to the University of Connecticut for her final year of eligibility, the university announced Wednesday. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.