FAIRBORN — Wright State women’s basketball junior Symone Simmons might be the shortest forward on the team, but when she is battling on the boards it is clear her effort is all that matters.
Out of Westerville North High School, Simmons decided to attend WSU since she would be close to home and felt the coaching staff would be a good fit.
“It feels like a home away from home,” Simmons said.
The production Simmons brings for the Raiders is pertinent to the team’s success. She has the ability to score in transition on one end, then scrap for a defensive rebound on the other. Currently, she leads WSU in rebounds per game (8.5), including a season-high of 15 in a victory over Richmond.
“It feels good that I can contribute to us winning or having a good game. Rebounding is fun to me,” Simmons said. “It’s a great feeling that I get to out-rebound somebody and jump and compete with somebody.”
Simmons says that WSU coach Katrina Merriweather has been a vocal contributor to the expansion of her game.
“She (Merriweather) has constructive criticism, but it’s always towards helping you and not to bring you down,” Simmons said.
The cheers from her teammates on the bench or court motivate Simmons. She also credited them with helping her stay on top of academics.
“Even though I get tired, they keep pushing me to do better,” Simmons said.
Now a junior, Simmons gives advice to the underclassmen based on her own experience.
“I’ve been in their position as a freshman. It was hard transitioning from high school to college, so I try to be there for them,” Simmons said. “If they have any questions, I answer them the best that I can.”
Last season was historic for the Raiders, as they earned a share of the regular season Horizon League title for the first time. For Simmons, it was the most memorable moment of her WSU career, but it fuels the team to accomplish a greater feat this season.
“That was a great feeling, cutting down the nets. It motivates us every day in practice to never give up and keep pushing,” Simmons said. “We try not to think about last year, because this is a new team. We keep it in the back of our minds, but we can accomplish so much more this year.”
When she isn’t skying for rebounds, Simmons is a sociology major and a member of the ASL sign language club where she signs with students who are deaf. She aspires to be a social worker or speech pathologist with her degree.
As the season progresses, resiliency shouldn’t be difficult to come by with Simmons on the floor.
Story courtesy of Alan Hieber and Wright State University Athletics www.wsuraiders.com.