Have you ever had to work on a holiday?
If you have, you know that it stinks. While you’re working, your friends and family are gathering, eating and having fun. All day you receive text messages you can’t respond to because you’re busy, and you don’t spend time with the people you love most.
On Thursday, most of America will celebrate Thanksgiving while the Bobcats have to work. Ohio will be in Denver preparing for its two-game “Thanksgiving Classic” against St. Bonaventure and Lamar. While the Bobcats love playing basketball, they weren’t thrilled when they heard they’d be on the clock for the holidays.
“That killed me,” junior shooting guard Amani Burke said with grimace on her face. “My aunt texted me and said ‘send me the menu.’ I was just like ‘I’m not even going to be there.’”
Ohio (3-0) has an opportunity to go 5-0 for the first time since 2016. It plays St. Bonaventure (2-2) on Friday, and then wraps up its road trip Saturday against Lamar (4-1).
The Bobcats enter the classic with the seventh-highest scoring offense in the nation, averaging 93.8 points per game. Going undefeated in Denver will be on the Ohio’s mind, but so will all the great food it’ll miss out on.
“I need my macaroni and cheese and my yams,” redshirt freshman point guard Erica Johnson said. “I get a little bit of everything but macaroni and yams has to be there.”
Johnson said in her household Thanksgiving upstages Christmas, and a lot of the Bobcats agree.
But there’s one Bobcat on the roster who won’t miss the holiday too much.
“I don’t really like turkey, and I don’t like casserole, so I don’t really like Thanksgiving that much,” coach Bob Boldon said. “But being a basketball coach, I’ve missed more Thanksgivings than I’ve been at in the last 22 years.”
Luckily for the Bobcats, there’s someone on the staff dedicated to cooking them a Thanksgiving meal. Before they depart for Denver, they’ll have a Thanksgiving meal together, at Director of Basketball Operations Tia Jameson’s house. The food won’t be the recipes they grew up on, but the Bobcats’ stomachs will be in great hands.
“Oh yes, homemade, everything will be homemade,” Jameson said. “I’m still going to make it happen for my babies.”
Jameson calls the 15 women on the roster her babies because the team is a family. Even though the team won’t be at their respective households this Thanksgiving, they’ll still be together.
“The first thing about a team is that you have to be a family,” Jameson said. “You have to trust each other, love each other and have each other’s backs. So just like families you’re gonna have your ups and downs, but at the end of the day when you come together that’s how you fight together.”