Gouard named Freshman of the Week


Courtesy of Oakland University Athletics

Sydney Gouard looks to gain space on a Bradley defender in the season opener.

Illinois native Sydney Gouard has not been on the women’s basketball team long, but is already receiving recognition. In just the first few weeks of the season, she was named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week. 

“Definitely my teammates have helped me receive this honor — without them I wouldn’t have gotten it,” Gouard said. “My coaches, too, just trusting them and believing in the process — it has been a great experience.”

Before the start of Gouard’s career at Oakland University, she had quite a successful high school career. In her junior year, Gouard helped lead her high school team to the Illinois 1A State Championship. Along with a state championship, the 5-foot-8-inch guard earned First-Team All-Conference three years in a row.

“I went to a small Catholic school and we only had 23 people in our graduating class so women’s basketball was the biggest sport,” she said. “All of the starters were Division I athletes, so my junior and senior year we won back-to-back state championships.”

Gouard added to the list of Division I starters for her high school team when she came into close contact with Oakland’s women’s basketball coaches. 

“I was in a travel tournament in Virginia and one of the coaches last year saw me play,” Gouard added. “After the tournament when I got home, I got a call from the assistant coach offering me a scholarship here.”

After Gouard received the phone call, Oakland immediately grabbed her attention for several reasons. 

“I just loved the environment, there was a great chemistry between the teammates and the coaches and it being closer to home made it easier,” she said. “It’s like a team full of sisters.”

With the season already underway for Gouard and the Golden Grizzlies, there are a number of goals being set.

“So far, we’re doing really good this season, we just need to fix some little things,” she said. “I want to get better to help my team this season, and our team goal is to have a winning season and win the Horizon League.”

Gouard believes she has a very high IQ of the game. Not only does she love to be competitive, and take the game seriously, but she also loves to have fun.

“Outside of basketball I am definitely outgoing, but I am still reserved at the same time,” she said. “But if I see you walking around I will say, ‘Hey, whats up,’ but I am always with my teammates and goofing around.”

Even though the Gouard and the team loves to goof around, they are all on the same page reaching for the same final goal.

“Winning the Horizon League is definitely a goal for us, I think we can do it,” she said. 

Gouard and the Golden Grizzlies face the University of Michigan Wolverines next Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor.