By Kimberly Yosko
Courtney Bayliss, who grew up in Australia, never thought that her basketball jersey would end up in a hall of fame in the United States. However, earlier this year, her jersey from her two seasons on the OLLU Women’s Basketball team was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.
“That was a surprise to me,” Bayliss said. “It’s rewarding. It’s like knowing your hard work paid off.”
The nomination process for a player’s jersey is very tedious, and there are some major requirements before one’s jersey is nominated.
“She made [the] All-American [team], and so she was automatically nominated for being on the All-American team,” Coach Christopher Minner said. “You have to make that All-American team before they even consider [putting your jersey in].”
Bayliss played for the OLLU Women’s Basketball team for two years before graduating with her degree in kinesiology last May. She is currently studying for her Master’s degree in organizational leadership.
She considers being on the All-American team to be her greatest accomplishment in basketball.
“Getting second team All-American is one of my [accomplishments],” Bayliss said. “It was one of my goals at the beginning of the year. Achieving that was good.”
Coach Minner praised Bayliss’ performance on and off the court.
“She played hard every game,” Coach Minner said. “She worked hard; she set a good example for the other players on the team. She’s the best player to ever come through here.”
With this nomination, Bayliss feels she can influence other women who are aspiring to play basketball at the collegiate level.
“It shows that, no matter where you are from in the world, you can still find a way to play basketball,” Bayliss said. “There’s always ways you can play.”