Eagle basketball arrives home from trip to Dallas

The 37-0, undefeated Eagles, return home from national championship


Gage Eldridge

The Eagle faithful stand in the bus loop, awaiting the arrival of the team.

Gage Eldridge, Reporter

The Ashland University women’s basketball team arrived home to a crowd of fans dressed in purple and gold in Ashland on April 3, at 3:00 pm.

The team was excited after winning the national championship game in Dallas.

The Eagles were given a police escort back to the AU campus, where they were greeted by the fans and fellow AU students. Many of the dedicated fans came with their families holding signs congratulating the team. 

“I had goosebumps, I think everyone had goosebumps. It is a huge testament to this community which I just love about Ashland,” said Junior Macy Spielman.

Once the Eagles stepped out of the bus cheers roared across the Ashland campus. The scene left the team excited and emotional. Head coach Kari Pickens spoke to the crowd stating her happiness for her team and thanking the fans for their support.

“My heart was overwhelmed with gratitude to step off the bus and see hundreds of people cheering us on and I am thankful I got to experience it with this team,” said Pickens.

Graduate Student Hallie Heidemann was holding the trophy and thanked the crowd for their amazing support. After the speech fans and media were allowed to talk to the players but not before the team was able to lift the trophy again. 

“Eagle Nation and the town of Ashland is the best, it is the best people to bring it home to and we are so thankful to have a following like this and support like this,” said Heidemann 

With all of the girls smiling the fans and family were able to take photos and give out hugs. The girls were also surrounded by the media but the smile never left their faces.

“This truly shows how much this community supports us. Eagle Nation knows how to show up, everybody in Ashland stopped to congratulate us. I think I almost started tearing up,” said Junior Savaya Brockington.

Pickens emotionally stated how proud she was of her team and was so happy that they could experience such a warm welcoming back.

The players were also so grateful and energetic to see the crowd coming in.

“It was unreal, we got a police escort. People were lining up in the streets and to come here to such a big group of people, this is why you come to Ashland,” said Senior Annie Roshak.

It was a big and energetic way for the fans to welcome back the eagles. After going undefeated and becoming national champions the Eagles were able to celebrate the victory with their loving and supporting fans.

“We knew this moment was going to be amazing, there is so much joy and love in this moment right now,” said Graduate Student Maddie Maloney.

The whole city of Ashland will remember the day their women’s basketball team brought back their third national championship trophy.