Women’s basketball: Wayne grad one of four returners for Dayton

Flyers open first season for new coach on Nov. 7

Destiny Bohanon’s noticed Tamika Williams-Jeter’s energy right away in the spring when she took over as the head coach of the Dayton Flyers. That was her first impression.

“She brought really good positive vibes,” Bohanon said. “It’s always been positive from the jump. She’s really personable on and off the court. She’s pushed us each and every day, and she’s brought along a really good coaching staff and they’ve done the same as well.”

Bohanon talked to two local reporters Wednesday on campus, five days before the start of the official preseason practice period. Starting Monday, Dayton can practice 30 times in a 42-day period before its season opener at Providence on Nov. 7.

The Wayne High School graduate Bohanon, a 5-foot-10 redshirt junior guard, is one of 11 players on the roster and one of four players who stayed with the program after Shauna Green left for Illinois and Williams-Jeter was hired in March.

Bohanon averaged 9.0 minutes in 21 appearances and made one start last season. The top returner, in terms of playing time last season, is senior forward Mariah Perez, who averaged 10.9 minutes in 29 games. Redshirt senior guard/forward Maliya Perry (6.9 minutes per game in 24 games) and sophomore forward Shannon Wheeler (4.9 in 10 games) also return.

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Bohanon said it was difficult seeing Green leave but also part of the process.

“We just congratulated her,” Bohanon said, “and tried to keep pushing forward in our own journey.”

Makira Cook and Brynn Shoup-Hill followed Green to Illinois. Capria Brown (Missouri State), Anna LeMaster (American) and Tenin Magassa (Rhode Island) also transferred.

Dayton’s new staff added four players from the transfer portal: junior guard Taisiya Kozlova (Maryland); junior guard Anyssa Jones (Ohio State); sophomore forward Arianna Smith (Indiana State); and senior guard Sydney Freeman (Ball State). The 2022-23 roster also includes three freshmen: guard Nayo Leer; guard/forward Saija Cleveland; and guard Eleanor Monyek.

Dayton has almost a whole new team, and Bohanon said every player brings something different to the table. The group will try to build on a winning legacy created with 14 winning seasons in the last 15 years and 12 20-win seasons in the same span.

“The atmosphere feels different,” Bohanon said, “but the expectations are the same. We’re trying to win A-10 championships and compete at the highest level.”

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