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East Lansing basketball star Aazh Nye finds there’s no place like home

Grant Essenmacher

EAST LANSING, Mich. —Aazh Nye has moved around a lot in her brief high school career. She is just a junior, but she has yet to attend the same high school for two consecutive years. Now, however, she seems to have found a home in East Lansing.

Nye, a guard, began her high school career in East Lansing, but transferred to Alabama for her sophomore year, citing basketball as the main reason for moving. 

“I wanted to develop more as a player, and the school, they were a really high caliber team, they had been to the final four two years in a row,” Nye said. “The coach was a former coach at the University of Alabama, and he was really a good coach.”

East Lansing girls basketball Coach Robert Smith, sees how Nye has changed since her return to the Trojans.

“From what I hear, she had a pretty humbling experience down there. The coach was a really disciplined guy, he sat her down quite a bit until she got on board,” Smith said. “There’s quite a bit of maturity in terms of the overall way she approaches basketball and I’ve seen some maturing off the court too.”

Following her sophomore season, Nye packed up and moved back to East Lansing. She said it was already in the family’s plans to move back to East Lansing, as they wanted to live together again.

The Trojans are doing well this season, with a 12-2 record and sitting in first place in the CAAC Blue division. Nye is an important part of the team, averaging 13 points per game, with her high energy play driving offense and defense.

“I believe I have a role on both sides of the court. My main role, that I have become known for I guess is leadership,” Nye said. “I really like to bring energy to my teammates and keep the positivity and keep everyone on a high level of energy.”

Nye is being recruited Division 2 schools, as well as Western Michigan and Central Michigan. She said she  has learned many lessons throughout her journey in basketball.  

“It’s really a team sport. Nothing is given to you. The sooner people realize that your success reflects your work ethic and what you put into it, then a lot more people will be successful,” Nye said.

Nye has also learned a lot from former East Lansing guard Taryn McCutcheon, who now plays Michigan State. The two have never played on a team together, but Nye has been mentored by McCutcheon during open gym sessions.

“She really gave me some advice as far as being aggressive to the basket, and I really learned a lot from her. She tells me to always have confidence in myself,” Nye said.

Smith also loves Nye’s is high energy level, but also sees her growing leadership qualities..

“She’s really trying to assert herself verbally as a leader. That is usually 99 percent of the time productive, so that’s been really good,” Smith said.

Nye has lofty goals, such as playing in the Big Ten. Smith also believes Nye has a bright future, possibly taking her play to a high level in college.

“It depends on how hard she wants to work. If she continues to have that kind of work ethic she could play at a pretty high level, Division 1,” Smith said.

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