When Ohio senior guard Quiera Lampkins graduates, she’ll be considered one of the best in Ohio’s history, but she never would have become a basketball player unless her dad, Andre Lampkins, forced her to begin to play at the age of 10.
Coach Bob Boldon wanted to reduce Quiera Lampkins’ minutes before the Mid-American Conference Tournament. Ohio had a game next Monday at home to begin the tournament.
Lampkins even joked Friday, however, that Ohio would blow out Akron so she could relax on the bench in the fourth quarter.
“I guess he (Boldon) took it literally,” she said while she laughed.
Lampkins didn’t know before the game that Boldon was going to reduce her minutes. But as Lampkins kept sitting down on the bench, she began to figure it out.
Assistant coach Marwan Miller reminded Lampkins of Monday’s game at home, but for her, that didn’t matter.
“You know me, I’m like so?” Lampkins laughed. “But it’s fine.”
But for Lampkins, known as the dramatic player on the team, it was OK. The Bobcats still got a win on senior day, defeating Akron 62-48 in The Convo.
Despite winning their last regular season game, the Bobcats have some work to do, and Lampkins will lead them. In a regular season game that didn’t mean much in terms of tournament seeding, Boldon wanted to hold his star back a bit.
Lampkins played 28 minutes, but she still led the team in scoring. She likes to play, and she wasn’t going to lose, especially on her senior day.
“Having to do all of the festivities afterward on a loss, everybody would have been kind of irritated,” Lampkins said. “I know I would have been.”
Perhaps one of the most competitive players on the team, Lampkins is looking forward to producing for her team in the MAC Tournament.
It’s essentially a new season, but for the Bobcats, it is a season that consists of an unusual path. The Bobcats, who have been one of the top teams in the conference for the past three seasons, are in an unusual spot right now
They won’t have an early trip to Cleveland for the MAC Tournament. Ohio was knocked out of contention for a first-round bye when Kent State won on Wednesday.
Despite this new path the Bobcats are taking, they are reveling in it. It’s a new path, not a frightening one.
“When you don’t win the conference, it kind of sucks,” Boldon said. “It’s not really that exciting to play games anymore, and now this kind of gives you something new to play for.”
The Bobcats have new goals, their old ones gone. But for a team that remembers being the best, they also remember being the worst — the senior class went 9-21 during their freshman year.
The Bobcats, however, are the No. 5 seed in the tournament, and perhaps their sense of urgency will return next week.
As Lampkins and Jasmine Weatherspoon finished giving interviews, they shot up from the table, rushing back to their families.
For now, Lampkins can enjoy the moment of senior day. But the Bobcats have practice Sunday, a session she’ll probably be on the floor a lot for.
“I love being on the floor,” Lampkins said. “But regardless, as long as we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, I don’t mind sitting on the bench.”