Following an 80-67 loss to the Bowling Green Falcons in the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament last season, the UB women’s basketball team returned to the court for practice last week with redemption on their mind.
Redshirt fifth-year forward Summer Hemphill, who appeared in only seven games and logged five starts last season due to an injury that sidelined her for over 14 months, has a chance to play her first full season since the 2018-19 campaign.
“I feel great. I feel normal. Everyone that sees me says, ‘Summer you look great,’” Hemphill said. “If you’ve seen me these past two years, you could probably tell me by the way I walked or saw the games I played, you could see I wasn’t necessarily comfortable out there.”
Head coach Felisha Legette-Jack hasn’t forgotten about the leadership Hemphill exhibited on the court in previous seasons and is ready to get her back in the regular rotation.
“There’s no sign of stopping her, so we let her go full time,” Legette-Jack said. “If we have to run, she runs. We’re treating it like she’s 100% and I think she’s receiving it well. I’m a pretty tough coach and a passionate person and not too many people can handle my screaming and yelling but Summer does.”
After making an immediate impact as a freshman with the Bulls in 2019-20, junior guard Dyaisha Fair continued to dominate the game as a sophomore, averaging 24.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.9 steals per game. She was named to the All-MAC First Team and All-Defensive Team as a result.
With Hemphill sidelined for Fair’s entire freshman season and the majority of her sophomore campaign, the Rochester native became a leader on the court.
“It [the leadership] started back home because I’m the oldest of four children, so I didn’t have a choice and had to be a leader,” Fair said. “I’m just looking to lead more and lead by example as much as I can. It’s okay to make mistakes and as a leader, you have to know that and you have to own it.”
Hunter Skoczylas is the sports editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hunter Skoczylas is the sports editor for The Spectrum. In his free time, he can be found looking up random sports statistics, jamming to Fleetwood Mac and dedicating his Sunday afternoons to watching the Buffalo Bills.