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Cleveland Connection: BW puts full-court press on Women's Final Four

BW's proximity to Cleveland pays off again during a magical March Madness weekend that saw legendary names come to the Berea campus and students plugging into weekend events downtown.

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BW sport management majors Nevan Quinn ’4 and Maddy Lambdin '24 on the court working media relations at the Final Four.

From an on-campus visit from legendary "goats" of the game to a whirlwind weekend working the NCAA Women's Final Four games and events, Baldwin Wallace University plugged into March Madness in a big way. 

NC State used Ursprung Gymnasium for a pre-tournament workout space, while the Yellow Jacket women served as the demonstration team at the Women's Basketball Coaches Association convention (WBCA) that was staged at the Cleveland Convention Center. 

Yellow Jacket Carolyn Wochele '24 also took part in the WCBA's "So You Want to be a Coach" program.

Rubbing big elbows

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The BW Women's Basketball Team with Hall of Famers Cheryl Miller and Cynthia Cooper-Dyke following a screening of "Women of Troy," a film documenting their journey as teammates at USC and beyond.

On Thursday night, BW's Carmel Boyer School of Business, Department of Athletics and Sport Management Club hosted Hall of Famers Cheryl Miller and Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, along with director Branson Wright, for a screening of "Women of Troy," a film documenting their journey as teammates at USC and beyond. More than 150 BW students, faculty and staff packed the room and were riveted by their candid stories.

NCAA President and former Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker visited the BW campus on Friday, lunching with BW President Bob Helmer and elite BW student-athletes. 

tavyn-likosky-copy.jpgAt least 40 students worked various events in and around the games, including the NCAA Women's Final Four Bounce presented by Buick. Bounce invited thousands of young fans to dribble along the streets of Cleveland and into "Tourney Town presented by Capital One — the official fan festival of the 2024 Women's Final Four."

Tavyn Likosky '27, a sport management major from Ann Arbor, Michigan, who also serves as a student assistant basketball coach for the BW women's team, worked as a "Last Second Shot" instructor at the Tourney Town skills drills.

“Being able to see all the children smile and light up when they made the buzzer-beating shot was awesome,” Likosky recalls. "To experience the Final Four in Cleveland and have all these events so close by is a dream come true. The preparation and experience of this weekend has been unforgettable!”

Alumni and Coaching Connections

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NCAA President (and former Massachusetts Governor) Charlie Baker, far left, visited the BW campus on Friday, lunching with BW President Bob Helmer, far right, and elite BW student-athletes Hope Murphy '24 (track/cross country), Michael Petrella '24 (wrestling), Vinny Lomeo '24 (football) and Isa Luciano '24 (volleyball).

final-four-block-350.jpgMarch Madness saw other BW alumni around every turn, with sport management major Domenic Clary '22 covering the tournament for Kee On Sports Media Group.

Meanwhile, longtime Cleveland sports columnist Terry Pluto turned to longtime BW head women's basketball coach Cheri Herrer for insights into the growth of women's basketball. The column also traces Herrer's storied career at BW, with Pluto calling her "one of the most remarkable coaches I've ever met."

A key connection to the Big Dance was BW sport management alumna and former Yellow Jacket hoopster Monica Gustin '12, who is vice president of business development at the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission (GCSC). Gustin served as GCSC's liaison to the NCAA during the tournament.

"Monica has been a huge partner in making some of this happen," reports BW Athletics Director Steve Thompson. "Ultimately, a strong partnership with Greater Cleveland Sports Commission has been huge to bringing a lot of great activities to BW."

Final Four Gallery

  • BW students work Final Four events
    At least 40 students worked various events in and around the games, including the NCAA Women's Final Four Bounce presented by Buick.
  • Yellow Jacket women with Cynthia Cooper-Dyke
    Members of the Yellow Jacket Women's Basketball Team with Hall of Famer Cynthia Cooper-Dyke at a post-event reception at BW.
  • "Women of Troy" panel discussion
    Hall of Famers Cheryl Miller and Cynthia Cooper-Dyke at a Q&A after screening “Women of Troy,” a film documenting their journey as teammates at USC and beyond, with the film’s director Branson Wright and BW A.D. Steve Thompson.
  • Sport management major Rob Watson '24 flanked by Cynthia Cooper-Dyke and Cheryl Miller.

    Sport management major Rob Watson ’24 flanked by Cynthia Cooper-Dyke (left) and Cheryl Miller (right).

  • Yellow Jackets serve as demo team for WBCA.

    BW women’s basketball team members served as the demonstration team at the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) convention, which was staged at the Cleveland Convention Center.

  • Andrew Gable with the championship trophy

    BW sport management major Andrew Gable ’25 hoists the National Championship Trophy at one of Cleveland’s March Madness events.

  • BW sport management students pose with WNBA greats Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird.

    BW sport management students pose with WNBA greats Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird.

  • N.C. State's team works out at BW's Ursprung Gymnasium.
    N.C. State's team works out at BW's Ursprung Gymnasium, home of the Yellow Jackets.

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