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Peyton Guice (11) during the Ohio Women's Basketball game against Eastern Michigan at The Convo, Jan. 10, 2024.

Women's Basketball: Peyton Guice is exactly where she needs to be

Basketball is in Peyton Guice’s blood. Her father is a former professional basketball player who has turned the family name into legend in Guice’s hometown of Westerville, Ohio. It was only natural when Guice decided to pursue basketball at the college level, committing to play for Ohio University, just about an hour and a half away from her family.

“I’ve been playing since I can remember, since I was 2 or 3,” Guice said. “(Basketball) was just something we all bought into as a family and I just fell in love with the game from the beginning.”

Guice played sparingly in her first college season, playing just 9 minutes per game in 26 games played. She helped aid the Bobcats to a 19-11 record, earning the fourth seed in the Mid-American Conference tournament. 

Ohio would make its way through the first round, besting Western Michigan by 9 points. Guice played less than a minute in the walk-off moments of the game, but despite the victory, it would be the last game Guice and the Bobcats played for quite some time.

The impact of COVID-19 on college athletics cannot be understated. For Guice, it derailed a chance to make the NCAA tournament as a freshman, as not long after the Bobcats’ first-round victory, the NCAA would suspend all remaining winter championships.

The Bobcats resumed play in November 2021, with Guice gradually ramping up her usage on the court. However, she suffered an injury during just her 12th game of the season, playing 4 minutes before she was sidelined for the remainder of the season.

Guice spent a shade over 13 months off the floor, not returning until March 2, 2022. She played just four games in the season, before being hit once again with a season-altering injury, one that sidelined her for the entirety of the 2022-23 season.

“I think what most people don’t realize about injuries, they’re unfortunate, but the main reason for injuries is they’re kind of like a test,” Guice said. “During that time, during COVID, as well as my injuries, each one of those instances was a time to test me and see where I was in terms of how I felt about basketball.”

During that time, Guice was changing not just as a basketball player but as a person. She changed her major, leaving the nursing track to follow education, and found a new appreciation for the game she had always loved.

“Once I got injured, I learned a different appreciation for the game through a different lens,” Guice said. “As unfortunate as my injury was, without it I don’t think I would be the person I am today.”

Those changes in Guice’s life, and Guice herself, amalgamated on the court in her fifth and final year at Ohio. Guice’s path had changed, and so did her role. The team was younger than it had ever been during her tenure, and she was one of six seniors to walk on senior night.

Guice had become a leader in the locker room, partially by obligation but in large part due to a natural propensity for the role.

“One thing that I’ve always been proud of myself with was being that leader, even from when I first got here,” Guice said. “This year, I really took over that leadership role … I really just tried to help influence the younger ones to get on the right path.”

This leadership role, in which Guice acted as a guide for her younger peers, will follow her after basketball. Guice spent her time off the court in her final year student teaching and training some of the members of Athens High School’s girls’ basketball team.

Recently, Guice accepted a teaching role back in her hometown at Westerville Central High School, where she’s excited to return and start the next chapter of her journey.

“I just realized that my purpose is deeper than basketball,” Guice said. “I’ve been more so focused on a longer-lasting impact that I can make, more outside the court than on the court.”


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