The Cedarville women’s basketball team added a new face to the starting lineup this season. Sophomore transfer student Baylee Bennett joined the team this season and became the starting point guard after Abby Wolford went down with an injury.
“When we heard that she’d be interested in transferring, we were really excited about bringing her onto our squad,” said Kari Hoffman, Cedarville’s women’s basketball coach.
Bennett played basketball at Cincinnati Christian University last year, but she was looking for a school that provided her something a little different. She wanted to go to a school that ran smoother and required more from their athletes and students. Cedarville provided her a place close to home that met her desires.
“There were several factors that played into my transfer, but mostly just school and basketball and the way this school is run,” Bennett said. “You’re definitely held to a higher standard here which I really love.”
Bennett grew up in Springfield, which allowed Hoffman to watch Bennett play basketball for years at Kenton Ridge High School. She was also able to see Bennett play at Cincinnati Christian through team scrimmages. Bennett’s skill and offensive ability is what really stuck out to Hoffman.
“She has a nice jumper, ability to finish over taller players and is deadly from the 3-point line,” Hoffman said. “If you have those three levels of offensive skill you’re hard to stop.”
The transition between schools has gone fairly well for Bennett this year. She was able to attend a basketball summer camp at Cedarville which allowed her to meet her new teammates before the year began. She made an instant connection with the team which has helped her to adjust to a new school and life.
“My teammates were definitely a big part of making it comfortable for me here,” Bennett said.
Despite being new to the team and school, Bennett has stepped into a leadership role on the team both on and off the court. She’s invited the team over to her house and has made an effort to integrate herself into the team.
“She was an instant fit with the team, and we are thankful to have her with us.” Hoffman said.
Bennett is only 5 feet, 5 inches tall, but she does not let that keep her from performing on the court. Bennett puts in work in practice to make up for her lack of height. She is regularly practising to help her team improve.
“She’s put in the extra time and is always working on her game,” Hoffman said. “She is highly motivated and is able to compete with anybody.”
Bennett emphasized that her motivation for playing basketball comes from God. She is excited for the opportunity to play and credits her abilities to God.
“I am thankful that I am here and able to play basketball, it’s just a huge blessing for me,” Bennett said. “I want to show the grace of God through me and my play here at Cedarville.”
Josh Woolverton is a sophomore journalism major and sports reporter for Cedars. He hopes to get involved in sports reporting and analysis after graduation and enjoys watching sports, running, and spending time with friends.