AU women’s basketball’s pregame rituals and traditions

The Eagles family is rooted in faith, community and tradition


Brynn Meisse

The Eagles perform their end-of-practice tradition by shooting half court shots. Head Coach Kari Pickens makes one, and the team huddles around in excitement.

Olivia Pliske, Reporter

The Ashland University Women’s Basketball team has many traditions that they have done throughout this season that seems to be helping them succeed this year and helped lead them to the 2023 NCAA Elite Eight Championship game this season.

After talking with some of the girls, they explained how going through their pre-game rituals has been a constant tradition that the girls continue to do. 

After talking to sophomore Hayley Smith, she explained her pregame ritual and what it means to her.

“I have to get Starbucks and get my special drink. I have a quiet time and then I shower,” Smith said.

Her “special drinks” from Starbucks consists of a green tea lemonade that’s sweetened and a matcha iced latte. 

After talking with senior Macy Spielman, her pre-game ritual is slightly different than that of Smith’s.

“My pregame ritual, I always spend time with Jesus and pray before the game. I pray for our team and I pray for his presence,” said Spielman. “I always wear the same socks and I have to pull them up all the way up to my knees literally every time. I have to tie my shoes a certain way and during warm-ups, I always go and pray at half court.” 

While each player may have an individual ritual that they do before the game, one thing that the Eagles have done consistently for years is the day of a game during shootaround, the girls (including the coaches and even the trainer, Adam) take halfcourt shots until one is made. 

When asked about it, the girls responded that it is a tradition that they have done for years, dating back all the way back to when Head Coach Kari Pickens was a player for the Eagles in the early 2010s.

Whether it be a Starbucks order or pulling socks up, the Eagles have managed to find ways that have helped them to the undefeated season that they have.