In every organization there is a support system that makes life easier for those who are in charge. The Ohio State women’s basketball team is no different and much of its support comes in the form of four student managers, who devote countless amounts of time and effort to help reduce some of the stress the players and coaches endure throughout a rigorous, five-month season.
“We do everything we can to help out every player and every coach who needs a task taken care of,” Sarah Sargent, an OSU sophomore who is entering her second season as manager, said. “Whatever they need – towels, new shoes, water – whatever the demands, we are constantly on our toes and making sure the players and coaches have what they need.”
Managers also take time out of their busy schedule and travel with the team to make sure everything is secure when they go on the road.
“Our job never stops. We go where the team goes,” Michael Ball, a fourth-year member of the crew, said. “But no matter how demanding the job gets and no matter how much we travel, we always enjoy our job and have a good time.”
So why did these students want this job and how did they get involved with the program?
“I was surrounded by sports in high school and have always wanted to go to Ohio State,” Shelley Spriggs, a Columbus, Ohio, native and third-year manager, said. “When I came to school here, I wanted to be around Ohio State athletics, so I called the women’s basketball office about the student-manager job and was basically hired on the phone.”
Sargent, saw the chance to be a manager at Ohio State a chance to be closer to a life-long goal – coaching.
“Like some of the other students, I also wanted to be close to Ohio State athletics,” Sargent said. “I also have this ambition to coach and figured being close to the women’s basketball program would give me insight into the coaching world.”
Freshman Mollie Risen has loved every minute of being around the basketball team as well as being around her fellow students. “This has been a great way to enjoy my freshman year,” Risen, a Columbus, Ohio native, said. “I played sports all through high school and I have a passion for sports. I knew this would be a good way to be around athletics. The job does get a little demanding but I have no regrets about being here.”
Aside from all the demanding hours of work, the managers are able to find fun when they have the chance. They also have made many memories to share with one another.
“My favorite memory I have about being a manager is going to Europe in the summer of 2002,” Ball said. “I experienced so much and met so many nice people in Europe. It was awesome to see different cultures and also different countries.”
Spriggs has a broad range of memories, but said the best memory has been traveling and seeing different arenas throughout the country.
“Being able to see all the different schools is my favorite part of the job,” Spriggs said. “The best place I have been this year has been our trip to the University of California Santa Barbara. The University of California Santa Barbara is a beautiful campus.”
“We all love our jobs and love rooting for the Buckeyes,” Sargent said. “Working with someone as great a person as head Jim Foster has been a blessing. I look forward to working here, and assisting the coaches and players for a few more years to come.”