In the spring of 2018, Kari Pickens is preparing for her first season as head coach of the Ashland University women's basketball team.
In the spring of 2013, Kari Daugherty was the best player on the best team in NCAA Division II, as the Eagles won their first national championship on March 29, a 71-56 victory over Dowling in San Antonio, Texas.
On Saturday (May 5) night at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio, the 2012-13 Ashland women's basketball team as a whole, and head coach Sue Ramsey individually, will be inducted into the 2018 class of the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. The class includes 16 individuals and three teams.
"We're just so excited for coach Ramsey, to begin with," Pickens said. "It is an incredibly well-deserved honor for her. Everything that she's done, not only for women's basketball, but for women's basketball at Ashland.
"Also really grateful for the opportunity for our team. We had so much fun, and even though it was over five years ago now…the memories still hold near and dear to our hearts, even today. I'm excited for us to be able to connect. It will be a reunion of sorts. I hope that it will represent Ashland University well."
The 2012-13 Eagles went 37-1 to earn the program its first national championship. That season, Ashland was 20-0 at Kates Gymnasium, won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships, and led the country in scoring margin per game at 21.6 points.
At the time, the 2012-13 AU women tied the D-II women's hoops record for wins in a season, originally set by Gannon in 2010.
"It is a whirlwind," Pickens said. "I've honestly just been reminded of God's faithfulness through all of this, just how He brings people together at different times and different places. My hope is that our team was able to glorify Him through that experience, and can glorify Him through this experience, as well."
Ramsey guided the Eagles for 20 seasons (1995-96 to 2014-15), going 367-217 (.628) with the national title, a national runner-up finish, two GLIAC regular-season titles and two GLIAC tournament championships. She was Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and GLIAC Coach of the Year in 2011-12, and a two-time Columbus Dispatch Ohio Women's Basketball Coach of the Year.
In her 28-season head coaching career between Division I Dayton and Ashland, Ramsey won 462 games.
"I'm so excited. I think there's at least six or seven of us who are able to go," noted Pickens. "It'll just be fun to reminisce. I'm sure there will be a lot of laughter that will take place on Saturday night."
The 2012-13 team and Ramsey are the second and third Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame inductees from Ashland College/University. Former Ashland men's basketball guard Kevin Wilson was inducted in 2016.