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Lima-area products excelling on the hardwood

Lima talents Britt Lauck (bottom) and Devon Allen (top) continue to play ball at ONU. (Composite photo/ONU Sports Information & Lima News)

Athletics at Ohio Northern University is something that students and the local community take pride in. The cliché phrase “never forget where you came from,” certainly applies to some athletes on campus. The city of Lima is only 18 miles away, which makes for a good case as to why there are so many student-athletes at ONU from the Lima-area. The sport Lima is most known for is basketball, and “The Bean City” has produced some talented players on the hardwood that have come to be Polar Bears.

There are nineteen varsity athletes at Ohio Northern University that are from Lima. Fourteen of those athletes are male and five are female. Six of those nineteen athletes at ONU play basketball. Those six being twin brothers Logan and Conner Rockhold (Lima Bath), Devon Allen (Lima Senior), Britt Lauck (Lima Shawnee), Jenna Hollar (Lima Bath) and Danielle Van Dyne (Lima Bath). Seeing all of these athletes compete back in high school, there is no question that they have earned a spot at the collegiate level. 

Lima’s rich basketball tradition brings names and memories rushing back. You think of names like Travis Walton, Greg Simpson, Demond Lyles, Jamar Butler and Reggie McAdams. Those names are just a few of the legends to come out of Lima and do big things at the next level. Now the torch has been passed and it is a chance for these athletes to make their mark. The competition at the high school level in Lima is one that is admired by coaches around the region at the collegiate level. It makes the players want to play with a sort of swagger and a chip on their shoulder. Britt Lauck feels that her playing days at Shawnee and in Lima have molded her into a fierce competitor on the court for her coach and teammates. “[Something I know] that I have acquired is I play with a chip on my shoulder because that’s what my Lima coaches have always taught me and embraced about me,” said Lauck. It is evident that Lauck and her fellow Lima teammates play with high level of competition and don’t shy away from it. Lauck also credits her skills and competitive edge to her past teammates and players that competed against her. “I think I have a little bit of every player I have played with and against inside of me and that has made me a really well-rounded player,” added Lauck. Lauck's teammate on the women's basketball team, Jenna Hollar, is going to be playing softball for ONU this spring, already with a high school state title under her belt. Another exhibit of Lima athletics excelling.

ONU men’s basketball player Devon Allen played ball at Lima Senior, the place where big shoes are constantly trying to be filled. Allen takes pride in where he comes from and appreciates the rich history of basketball in Lima. “It is awesome knowing that I come from a community and area that is so well-known for great basketball,” said the sophomore. Allen has had a pretty good season so far for the Polar Bears, his best game most recently coming on Valentines Day. Allen came off the bench to put up a game-high 15 points and lead the team to victory, going 3-for-6 from three-point range. His teammates Conner and Logan Rockhold were one of the best tandems ever seen in the Lima-area because of their impeccable level of chemistry. If it weren’t for an unfortunate injury to Logan, those two could have been competing for a state title in 2013. The six basketball players here at ONU are some of the finest in the state and it is no wonder why they chose to bring their talents to Ada.

Something that can be taken away from Allen and Lauck’s words is that every athlete should be proud of where they come from. The letters that they wore in high school and represented are still being represented today. When people back in Lima see Britt Lauck on the news putting up a double-double, or that Devon Allen hits a buzzer-beater to win a big game, they remember that those players hailed from the same place. If you cannot take pride in where you came from, then what can you take pride in? These six Lima-area basketball players are a great example of that.

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