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Sunday, Jun 23, 2024
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New to the Court: Women’s Club Basketball

Tosin Ogunyale, vice president of the newly formed women’s club basketball team, said she knew going into college that she would have to make some sacrifices to pursue her career, but she never wanted basketball to be one of them.

I have been playing basketball for as long as I can remember and not playing on a team is a very different experience for me,” Ogunyale said. “Not having basketball be the center of my life anymore is different and I miss it, so the reason I want to start this club team is so I don’t have to let go of that part of me completely while Im finding a career here at mercer.”

She and fellow sophomore Tobi Woghiren, president of the club, decided they wanted to do more than just play intramurals, and after seeing the newly formed men’s club team develop, they would take it upon themselves to form a women’s team.

Coming to Mercer, Woghiren said she hoped to be a walk on for the Lady Bears, but never saw any sort of tryout information, so her plan didn’t work out.

Woghiren is similar to Ogunyale in that they both couldn’t imagine abandoning playing the sport they had spent so much of their lives dedicated to.

“I know it wasn’t an easy decision for me to stop playing,” Woghiren said. “We just wanted to give other people that opportunity to continue playing past high school just like we wanted to.”

The duo talked with Todd Thomas, director of wellness and recreational sports at Mercer, about forming a team and said he was very helpful in setting them on the right path.

Even though they are only in their first year, Woghiren said they have plans to travel to tournaments based on Thomas’ recommendations.

“[Thomas] said ‘there’s tournaments around the Georgia area, or it could be out of state just depending on our attendance,” Ogunyale said. “If we could travel, that would be great.”

After hosting a couple of informational meetings this and last semester, the two were able to put together a roster of seven players they said they hope will be a good foundation to grow the program from.

“Our biggest challenge has been adding players to the club,” Ogunyale said. “Even though, it is not as big of a commitment as playing for the school, we understand it is still a commitment nonetheless and that college students are very busy.”

Woghiren also said getting information about the team around campus has been the most difficult task in trying to organize the program. However, she said she has met other students around campus or through intramural who she believes would be interested in joining the team.

“If anyone is interested in joining the team don’t hesitate to contact us for more information,” Ogunyale said.


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