Two women’s basketball players recognized with All-Horizon League honors

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Senior Olivia Nash and freshman Taylor Jones were named to All-Horizon League teams on March 8, a decision made by the league’s ten head coaches. Nash got on the Second Team and Jones got on the All-Freshman Team.

Nash said it was always a realistic goal, and it all boiled down to leading her teammates to believe they are one of the top teams in the league.

“I think it really became clear when we swept the top team in our league,” Nash said. “That just proved that we really can beat anybody on any given night.”

Nash left a legacy and she will always be a part of the Golden Grizzlies family, head coach Jeff Tungate said in the March 10 post-game press conference.

When she first arrived at Oakland, her goals were to make an impact on the team either during practice, in games or even off the court.

“I wanted to contribute to the program and make it grow anyway that I could,” Nash said.

Another goal was to win a league championship, the hopes of which ended on Thursday, March 10 when the team fell 65-63 to Youngstown State at the Horizon League Championship in Green Bay.

Nash’s senior year was one for the books. She was named Horizon League Player of the Week and College Sports Madness Horizon League Player of the Week. At the season-opener against UM-Dearborn, she reached the 1,000-career-point mark.

With 32 double-doubles, Nash is Oakland’s all-time Division I leader. She got eight double-doubles this year, according to GoldenGrizzlies.com.

“They’re great individual accomplishments…but whenever someone wins an award like that, I mean that’s a team award,” Tungate said in the March 9 GrizzVision interview with Mekye Phelps. “They couldn’t do it without their teammates. It’s great to see our team get recognized.”

Jones played in 30 games this season and started ten. She is the second-highest scorer on the team and ranked tenth in the league with 13.6 points per game. Her 1.5 steals per game is eleventh in the conference.

Her performances have led her to cultivate six Horizon League Freshman of the Week awards, a conference-best tied with that of Ashanti Abshaw from Cleveland State.

“I am going to put in a lot of work in the offseason,” Jones wrote in an email. “Although I am glad of what I accomplished as a freshman, I am still not satisfied because there is always room for improvement.”

She knew the All-Freshman Team was within her grasp.

“I set goals for myself as soon as I arrived here last summer and knew I had to do whatever it took in order to achieve them,” Jones wrote.

In her next three years, she wants to become a leading figure on the team.

“I want to develop as a leader on the court and win a championship,” she wrote. “I want to also help change the culture of this program and do things that no other teams have done prior to my arrival.” Jones wrote.

“These four years fly by and you can’t take a single game for granted,” Nash said. “Everything you achieve in this sport has to come through hard work and support of your teammates and coaches.”

“You can’t do it alone.”