Dayton coach Shauna Green: ‘I think we had a great summer’

The Dayton women’s basketball team huddles before a game in 2018 at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
The Dayton women’s basketball team huddles before a game in 2018 at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

Team ran hills at Woodland Cemetery and boxed at Drake’s Gym

A busy summer for the Dayton Flyers women’s basketball team included valuable off-court experiences for the players.

Redshirt seniors Julia Chandler and Shakeela Fowler participated in a month-long “experiential fellowship” with University of Dayton professor Jesseca Ynez Simmons, who was working on her new film. Araion Bradshaw, a redshirt junior, completed an engineering internship.

Senior guard Christine Szabo had an internship with ABC News in Washington, D.C., and showed off what she gained in conditioning workouts at UD when she was photographed running a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court to her colleagues outside the court. The New York Times featured the image on its front page.

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Szabo, a walk-on guard, was not on campus with her teammates this summer, but coach Shauna Green told her she couldn’t pass up the opportunity in Washington.

“It was great for her,” Green said. “I actually met up with her when I was recruiting in D.C. The things she learned are just unbelievable. What a great experience for her.”

Back in Dayton, Green and her assistant coaches made competition the focus of summer practices and workouts. Green talked in June about the need to finish games in the 2019-20 season. To improve in that area, Green introduced "road game Fridays" this summer. Each week, she would take the team to an unannounced location for a workout, and they would compete in conditioning drills.

One Friday, the Flyers worked out on the turf at Stuart Field on campus. Another week, they ran the hills at Woodland Cemetery.

“I had never been up there,” Green said. “(The views) were beautiful.”

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Dayton also had a boxing workout at Drake’s Downtown Gym. The players punched bags, not each other, Green said. It was such a popular workout she plans to take the team there again in the fall.

“I think we had a great summer,” Green said. “I love where we’re at. I thought we made so many improvements individually and collectively. I loved our focus. I loved our attention to detail. Everything was about competing, finishing and really paying attention to the small things. Those small things throughout the course of 40 minutes are going to determine the end results. Overall, I thought it was one of the best summers we’ve ever had, and I really like where we’re at.”

Green got her first look at the three freshmen who arrived on campus in June: 6-foot-3 forward Nadjy Tyler, 6-3 forward Mariah Perez and 5-10 guard Destiny Bohanon, a Wayne grad.

Bohanan suffered an injury in one of her last high school games and is still fighting her way back. Green hopes she will be fully cleared for practice in a month.

“Just the type of person she is and her work ethic and the different things she can do in terms of her versatility, we’re expecting her to contribute right away,” Green said.

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Green also thinks Perez and Tyler can contribute, though Tyler has also battled injuries and hasn’t been 100 percent.

“It’s all so new for these kids,” Green said. “Right now, it’s just getting the terminology, getting the footwork and learning how to give the effort we expect on a daily basis.”

Even with three freshman, Dayton has a veteran group. Seven players are fifth-year seniors or fourth-year seniors, and there are two redshirt juniors. After not naming captains in her first two seasons, Green had the players vote on captains last year because she said the team didn’t have natural leaders and she hoped naming captains would make the players be leaders.

This year, with such an experienced team, Green will not have captains again. The players have worked on leadership with Dr. Becky Cook, the team’s psychologist. Six players participated in four sessions of a sports leadership seminar.

“It’s really helped them understand leadership and how to step up and lead,” Green said. “I think a lot of our team knows if we’re going to be successful and do what we have to do, we have to have strong leadership and we have to have strong seniors. Every successful team I’ve been a part of has had a strong senior group.”

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