Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nash winding up basketball career at Wayne State

Muskegon Chronicle Article On Joy Nash
by Scott Brandenburg
Sunday February 08, 2009

Joy Nash's basketball days are going to end a little earlier than she'd like this season.

Nash, a former All-Area performer at Muskegon, isn't complaining though. She's had a long career as the starting point guard at Wayne State University.

For four years, Nash has been a fixture in the Warrior lineup, starting every game she's played. She missed the last 15 games of her freshman season with an injury.

Going back the previous four years, when Nash was starring for the Big Reds, the 5-2 point guard has been helping varsity squads for the last eight years.

"I've really been blessed with an ability I've been able to use for the last eight years," said Nash. "It's given me a great opportunity to play here and get my degree."

Nash will begin her year of student teaching at Wayne State following the regular-season finale against Ferris State on Feb. 28 unless the Warriors can put on a miraculous finish in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Association race and make the postseason.

Beginning the home stretch of earning her degree in elementary education is something Nash is looking forward to, even if she's still not completely ready to "hang up her sneakers."

"I want to return to teach in the Muskegon area," said Nash. "I want to be able to give back at or near the place where I started."

For her career, Nash is sixth in Warrior history in assists with 365 assists and is 12th in free-throw percentage at near 78 percent.

Running the team's offense has always been one of Nash's strong points.

"Joy's been phenomenal -- she's been our steady player in the backcourt," said Wayne State coach Gloria Bradley. "She's a natural point guard in that she can handle the ball and she looks to pass first."

Nash plays 30 minutes a game and averages seven points and four assists a game.

The only knock on Nash is she tries too hard sometimes to get her teammates involved in the offense.

"Joy does a great job of that, but she looks to pass to a fault," said Bradley. "She gets frustrated sometimes when she can't find an open teammate and it's usually because she's the open person. She's got a good shot and could shoot more.''

Nash's defense has been another key to her game.

She has been named to the GLIAC South all-defensive team the last two years and could make it three straight seasons.

Nash has 98 career steals and Bradley said her aggressive defense sets the tempo for the team.

"Defense has always been something I've taken pride in," said Nash. "Coach wants us to start with defense so I focus on making sure we take care of that end of the court."

Nash set a career high in 3-pointers made (4), field goals made (9) and points (24) in a game last year against Grand Valley.

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