For her first two years at Ohio, Quiera Lampkins was in the background.
From time-to-time, she would have a standout performance, but through her sophomore year of college, she played under the shadow of Kiyanna Black.
Last year, she really developed as a star player on the team, picking up the team when Black was having an off game. This year, she is the go-to player on coach Bob Boldon’s team.
“I’ve always been prepared (to be the star player),” Lampkins said. “It’s always been there, I’ve just never did it because it was (Kiyanna Black). I kind of took a backseat when I shouldn’t have, so I think I just have to come out and do what I have to do.”
A season ago, she averaged 14.8 ppg and 43.8 percent from the field — she trailed behind Black in both categories. She also led the team in assists.
There were a few times last year when Lampkins had a quiet game and others when the team would have lost without her presence.
In the Mid-American Conference opener last year against Western Michigan, she scored a career-high 33 points. After a 25-point second half, she carried the Bobcats to their first conference win of the season. Black finished with eight points.
Her team leaned on her to fill in where Black couldn't. She succeeded.
Performances like that are going to have to be a norm for Lampkins, not sporadic.
Though Lampkins’ play style is different than Black’s because Lampkins drives the lane more, the production, effort and efficiency needs to be the same.
While Lampkins plans to be at the forefront of the game plan, she’s going to look to her classmates Yamonie Jenkins and Jasmine Weatherspoon to pick up the slack, just like she was the go-to when Black was off.
Boldon said it’s not just on Lampkins to carry the team but also the entire senior class with the experience it has had going into its fourth year.
“Those guys do a great job at making the young kids accountable, and those guys have pretty high expectations, and it’s been good for our program,” Boldon said.
He doesn’t plan on putting any pressure on Lampkins or the senior class. The goal is to win, and he wants the right personnel to make that happen, whether he has to pull his more experienced players or not.
In terms of pressure to perform at the next level, for Lampkins, she feels none.
“Me personally, no,” Lampkins said. “I try to play at my best level as I can.”
For Jenkins and Weatherspoon, there might be more pressure on them because, unlike Lampkins, they haven’t been put in a situation where they need to perform at a high level and help fill gaps.