Heres the perfect example in which the name doesnt fit the person: Amanda Hyde.
The IPFW junior forward isnt about to hide from anything
Because there are no seniors on the womens basketball roster, there will be no senior leadership.
But thats 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, Im not about to win just nine games again, said IPFW coach Chris Paul.
Nine wins in 30 games was last seasons 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 Murphys 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 shes 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 cant criticize other people and get on other people for doing things wrong if Im doing the same things wrong. Its my job to do things right. If I have to be an example for the other girls, then Ill 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 schools valedictorian.
It was a mutual understanding between coach and player that Amanda Hyde would become the teams most visible/reliable player.
Hyde wanted the leadership role. Paul wanted her to have it.
Its 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 its a lot of responsibility and dont 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.