YSU Women’s Basketball team ranks high on court and in the classroom

Local News

Two weeks ago on all its social media sites, the Youngstown State Women’s Basketball team posted a graphic, announcing a 3.75 team GPA — the highest cumulative GPA by any YSU team on record.

That’s 13 women getting almost all As in every class for their entire college career, all while playing Divison I college basketball. That’s impressive.

It was just one drill during Friday afternoon’s YSU Women’s Basketball practice, but the pass between Melinda Trimmer and Mary Dunn that resulted in a basket may have been completed by the two smartest women on a very smart team.

We asked Sarah Cash, a senior from Lordstown, who the smartest girl on the team is.

“I’d say Mary or Melinda.”

But ask Mary, a junior from Washington, PA, the same question and she settles the debate.

“Definitely Melinda.”

“We wouldn’t have a high GPA without everyone contributing, so I can’t say that,” Melinda said.

The West Branch graduate and now YSU senior is a Pre-Med major with a 3.97 cumulative GPA. That’s all As over four years and one B in Bio-Chemistry.

She doesn’t know if she would ever want to go back and take that class again.

“It was pretty tough but it will definitely stay with me forever, haunting me,” Melinda said.

She, Mary, Sarah, Chelsea Olson and Madison Mallory all had perfect 4.0s last semester in some tough majors.

“I’m a double major in Communications and Sociology, and a double minor in Political Science and Psychology,” Mary said.

“Exercise Science,” Chelsea said.

“Mechanical Engineering was my undergrad. Now I’m in Professional Communications,” Sarah said.

Last semester, the YSU women had a cumulative 3.67 GPA, which — based on last year’s rankings — would be the seventh best in NCAA Division I. YSU is one of only four schools that’s been on the top 25 list seven of the last eight years.

“We try to recruit smart kids. It makes teaching the game easier. They remember things better and it’s one less thing for us to worry about,” Coach John Barnes said.

“I think it’s always the goal to improve,” Melinda said. “I mean, until it gets to a 4.0, why not keep improving it?”

The lowest GPA on the team is 3.17, which — by any measure — is still good. And they’re good basketball players, too. The YSU women are 14-5 and in contention for a Horizon League championship.

If you’d like to see these brainiacs play, they’re home on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Cleveland State.

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