Team managers featured in Delaware State game day magazine, listen or watch the game live on Buckeye Vision
Ohio State plays its second game in two nights vs. Delaware State at 7 p.m. in Value City Arena. Fans can watch a live stream of the game or listen to the Ohio State Radio Network call on Buckeye Vision at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Last night, Ohio State downed Cleveland State, 68-54, in Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus.
Behind the Scenes
by Drew Sullivan
They’re at Value City Arena at least an hour before practice begins and a half an hour after its conclusion.
They can be found at a pre-game practice several hours before game time.
And they can be seen at every Ohio State women’s basketball game either home or away this entire season.
But Aaron Hastings, Jazmine Lavender, Lauren Collins, Amber Henderson and Anthony McClish aren’t basketball players at Ohio State they’re student-managers.
Even though you’ll never see their names in the morning paper for collecting 15 rebounds or hitting the game-winning shot from the night before, the team wouldn’t be able to function without them.
From getting equipment ready before practice to cleaning up the locker room afterward, managers have many responsibilities to fulfill in order for practice to run smoothly on a day-to-day basis.
“For practices we have to set out all the equipment,” Hastings said. “We have a big cart with most of our equipment and we wheel it to the practice gym. (We have to) make sure the balls are out there the time the players get here for practice. Coach Foster has a few things that he likes to have done before practice, and (we do) small things like making sure the floors are wiped down and that the clock’s running right. If our student trainer isn’t here make sure the Gatorade’s made.”
But it just doesn’t end there. The basketball managers spend even more time at the gym on game days.
Hastings, a senior in sports and leisure studies, is in his third year with the team. He said he spends his entire day at the arena on game days. Sunday Nov. 16, he said he was at the arena for a 7:45 a.m. pre-game practice before a 1 p.m. game and stayed there until about an hour after the game, getting things ready and cleaning them up in between.
And since there are only five mangers for the women’s team, all of them travel to every away game. While they are missing their classes, they have to make sure all the equipment is packed and then help out the coaching staff with anything they need on the trip.
But no matter how much time it requires to be a basketball manger, Hastings and Lavender both have a strong passion for basketball and a desire to become a coach some day.
“I really like basketball a lot,” said Lavender, a sophomore majoring in textiles and clothing. “I wish I would have started playing earlier because I think I would have been playing (now). Coaching I think I’ll really like doing. And this experience is to see coach (Jim) Foster’s view on basketball, how he does things, different plays and different defenses.”
Lavender, in her second year with the team, is definitely at the right program if she wants to learn a thing or two about basketball, but she also said she enjoys the experience that comes with being a basketball manager.
“I like it a lot,” Lavender said. “You meet a lot of people, and you get to know the team. You get to travel build a lot of friendships. And it’s just like traveling to different cities, seeing what different towns and campuses are like. If I weren’t doing this, I wouldn’t have been to a lot of places. But by doing this, I can travel and I get to be with my sister (Jantel), so I like that.”
Hastings also said he benefits from being a basketball manager, but he says it can be stressful at times because he is always busy and has classes to attend.
But there is also something else that takes up quite a bit of his free time in the fall.
“I don’t think a lot of people know that I’m a volleyball coach,” Hastings said. “I’ve been the varsity assistant (at Westerville North) the last three years. Now I’m the head coach.”
Hastings said he would like to coach at the collegiate level, but would want to stick with volleyball. He said if he continued with basketball it would be as a director of operations, but he’s glad he has several options to choose from in the future.
Lavender, much like Hastings, is having a hard time deciding on her career field.
“I love fashion, but I love sports too,” Lavender said. “So hopefully my mind will be made up by that time. I don’t (know) right now, I really don’t. Luckily I’m not a senior right now saying that. Maybe I can do both. You never know.”
Despite their love for basketball, Hastings and Lavender still aren’t sure they want to make a career out of it upon graduation at Ohio State, but experience in multiple fields will leave them with endless opportunities in the future.
But while they still have the chance, the two are going to relish the times they have as current mangers for the team.
“I just think my experience here is great,” Lavender said. “I’m so happy that coach Foster has given me this opportunity. I love the coaches and I’m just happy to be here.”
Hastings, who only has one more year left with the team after this season, shares that same sentiment.
“I really like being here,” Hastings said. “I really like being involved in college basketball. I like learning from coach Foster, coach Pete (Gaudet) and all them. But the experience is great being able to travel to different schools and universities. It’s experience that not a lot of people get to experience.”
by Drew Sullivan