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Division III women’s basketball supports STUDENT-athletes

The ONU women's basketball team huddles together before an early-season game last season. (Photo/Brad Ward)

The ONU women's basketball team huddles together before an early-season game last season. (Photo/Brad Ward)

Division III schools should be highly valued when a potential collegiate athlete is considering what college to attend.

Often, Division I and II athletic scholarships can overshadow a student’s decision-making. No, Division III schools cannot offer athletic scholarships, but they offer so much more.

Ohio Northern Women’s Basketball team helps student-athletes become better people, not only during college but for reality afterward. I learned this soon after I became a member of the basketball family.

The women’s basketball team at ONU is just one of the 23 varsity sports teams that push their athletes to understand ‘student’ comes first in student-athlete. Many would attest that the success on the court is only secondary to the success in the classroom.

Of the 710 student-athletes at Ohio Northern, 476 are male athletes, and 234 are female athletes. Not a single one of these student-athletes has an athletic scholarship. The constant promoting of school first allows for much success for teams like women’s basketball.

Not only are coaches flexible and supporters of classroom teachers and school work, but professors also accommodate student-athletes’ schedules. The support from these important figures leads to much more than athletic success.

The ONU women’s basketball team has captured the OAC Conference season title for the last four years, all while consisting of students succeeding in the classroom. Being a part of the basketball team, and any other team at Northern, instills lasting morals and values in a student-athlete.

Working hard in the classroom and always knowing that ‘student’ comes first, has helped me with balancing the life of being an athlete while in school. Originally, I thought playing basketball would hurt my schoolwork, but I quickly learned that basketball helped me become organized, efficient and avoid procrastination.

Responsibility, dedication, hard-working, timeliness and loyalty are only a few of the characteristics that being a student-athlete at Ohio Northern University creates.

Here on campus, these qualities lead to outstanding athletic achievements and successful school performances, but they lead to much more than that later.

In reality, they lead to well-rounded young men and women.