Scullion earns Big Ten Sportsmanship Award

COLUMBUS -With Ohio State’s dismissal of women’s head basketball coach Jim Foster on Tuesday, the Buckeyes including 2010 Salem High School graduate Amy Scullion are looking in a new direction.

“Change is always hard, and I hate to see coach Foster go because he is a great coach, he’s done a lot for me, not only basketball-wise but also personally,” Scullion said. “It’s also an opportunity and I’m excited to have a new face in and bring a lot of energy. I would really like to win a Big Ten championship.”

Foster leaves with a 279-82 record (.772) and departs as the winningest coach in program history in terms of wins and winning percentage.

This season he led Ohio State to an 18-13 overall record and tied for eighth in the Big Ten with a 7-9 mark.

Scullion joked that the Buckeyes had not won a Big Ten championship since she arrived in Columbus. The Buckeyes won a Big Ten-record six consecutive Big Ten regular season championships from 2005-10.

“I want to be a part of a winning tradition instead of part of the problem,” Scullion said. “If you look at the talent level we have and our tournament results, a sub .500 conference record and not making good tournament runs is just not acceptable.”

Scullion, a redshirt sophomore, will now be forced to endure a coach selection process that will take up to six weeks. Luckily, she still has her assistant coaches and teammates to help along the way.

“The assistant coaches will be with us until the end of the semester. We can do workouts with them and then we have our strength and conditioning coach who will be the same guy, so we can workout with him,” Scullion said. “We will definitely have people to work out with so that helps as much as possible.”

One of the more decorated athletes to emerge from Salem High School in history, Scullion was presented with the 2013 Big Ten Sportsmanship award for Ohio State earlier this month.

“It was definitely completely unexpected,” Scullion said. “But it’s a pretty cool honor and something that I’m definitely proud of.”

Scullion was initially oblivious to her selection as the sportsmanship representative from Ohio State. It wasn’t until she received a text message from her father that she found out she had won.

“I actually didn’t even know, but they seemed like they were pretty excited,” Scullion said. ” They said they were proud of me, so it made me feel pretty good for the day.”

Scullion has appeared in 25 games for the Buckeyes this season just two years after suffering a season ending knee injury in the preseason of her freshman year. The injury forced Scullion to take a red shirt that only helped her relish her latest accomplishment.

“It’s gratifying to receive that because you put so much work and time into coming back from a knee injury,” Scullion said. “It feels like you’ve finally gotten something for all of that effort.”

Despite a forgettable season, Scullion said she was proud of the fight that her teammates showed after their struggles in the month of January. Personally, Scullion was pleased with her progression after staying healthy for a season, and now sets her sights on more improvement in the upcoming season.

“I want to be able to shoot the three, and be effective enough shooting from three that people have to guard me,” Scullion said. “I also would like to really work on being able to create offense, I was a little rushed and not contributing as much as I would have liked to.”

Though her transition to Division I college ball hasn’t been as smooth offensively, defensively it was as seamless as she could have hoped for.

“To me, defense is just about hard work. That’s always been the easier part of the game for me, coming in and working hard,” she said. “Offense was something that I had to learn and understand. It was definitely more of a challenge for me.”

Her dedication to her game before she reached Columbus eased that transition.

“I think it just helps because made you prioritize because the biggest thing for me here at college has just been prioritizing school and basketball over everything else in my life,” she said. “It wasn’t hard for me to transition from the time commitment in high school to college because I was already putting the time in.”

A grind of a full course load coupled with rigorous practice for a nationally recognized basketball program was another story.

“It’s pretty tough, especially this year, I’m actually applying to medical school this summer, so getting my last few O-Chem (Organic Chemistry) classes out of the way,” Scullion said. “This year has definitely been really tough for me academically. It’s a lot harder than high school.”

Scullion hopes to pursue oncology or pediatrics upon her admittance to medical school, but acknowledged that could all change once she gets there.

“Everyone always says that you change your mind when you get into medicine, but those are two areas that interest me,” Scullion said. “I think from an early age, since both of my parents are optometrists, that medicine has always been on my radar.”

The influence her family has provided has not only played a hand in her decision making, but has given her the proper support system that has allowed her to thrive in Columbus.

“I had my sister (Katie) down here at Ohio State with me, I see her at least once a week,” she said. “They’re just great. They come to every game. They’ve gone through the tough classes like I am now so they’re always there to give me support.”