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Hyde seeks out new leadership role


Here’s the perfect example in which the name doesn’t fit the person: Amanda Hyde.

The IPFW junior forward isn’t about to hide from anything

Because there are no seniors on the women’s basketball roster, there will be no senior leadership.

But that’s OK, since Hyde has stepped forth to become captain, leader, spokeswoman, floor coach and best player.

And did we mention inspiration?

“Flat out, in April, she told me, ‘Coach, I’m not about to win just nine games again,’ ” said IPFW coach Chris Paul.

Nine wins in 30 games was last season’s bottom line; a year of injuries that, coupled with the loss of key players, caught up with the Mastodons after winning 20 times the year before.

With the exception of being the second-leading scorer with a 9.4 average behind Erin Murphy’s 9.9, Hyde is first among returnees in starts (23), minutes (29 average), free throw percentage (.818), rebounds (5.0 average) and assists (2.2).

And she’s also the first on the morning practice floor, occasionally before the lights go on.

“Leading by action has always been more my style; leading by example, trying to do the right things on the court and off the court,” Hyde said.

“As a leader, I can’t criticize other people and get on other people for doing things wrong if I’m doing the same things wrong. It’s my job to do things right. If I have to be an example for the other girls, then I’ll be an example.”

It was at Liberty Benton (in Findlay, Ohio) where the roots of leadership took hold. While averaging 21.8 points as a senior, she led her team to the Division III state championship with a 27-0 record. In the championship game, she scored 23 points and had eight rebounds.

She was an all-state soccer player.

She was also her school’s valedictorian.

It was a mutual understanding between coach and player that Amanda Hyde would become the team’s most visible/reliable player.

Hyde wanted the leadership role. Paul wanted her to have it.

“It’s my way of saying, ‘This is your time,’ Paul said. “ `I believe in you. We all believe in your abilities.’ ”

Hyde accepts the challenge.

“I love the leadership role. I do,” she says. “I understand it’s a lot of responsibility and don’t like all the aspects that come with it. I have to address things to the team that I may not want to.

“But in general, I love being that person that girls feel like they can come to and ask questions and feel comfortable around.”