Loyola first-year forward Allison Day is adjusting to college basketball after playing for Eastern High School in Winchester, Ohio. She’s also leading a much different life at Loyola than she did in Ohio, now that she’s surrounded by skyscrapers instead of cornfields.
Day, a business management and sport management double major, grew up on a farm in Winchester, about an hour east of Cincinnati. Winchester is a city populated by 1,051 people, according to the 2010 census; Day said she enjoyed her experiences there and valued the time she spent managing the farm with her father.
“It was always fun,” Day said. “It was the thing that me and my dad had together, because my mom didn’t always go out there. It was kind of my dad’s thing, so it was a nice relationship builder with me and him.”
Now away from the quiet and animals on the farm, Day said she hasn’t experienced too much of a culture shock and she appreciates some of the familiarities Loyola’s campus offers.
“It’s been kind of nice because you can walk and go everywhere instead of driving 30 minutes to the grocery store,” Day said. “But since Loyola is not completely downtown, it’s been nice having the lake there and some trees, so it’s not a complete change.”
Day and her family raise angus cows on the farm, which are different from milk cows. Angus cows tend to have more fat and smaller udders than milk cows and are meant for beef production. She said one time the calving season — the time of year when cows give birth — became too much for her to handle.
“One time, it was calving season, so it was in the fall, and sometimes they need help,” Day said. “We got into the barn and I had to help my dad pull the calf out, and I started crying because it was gross. It was terrifying because I was afraid the calf was literally just going to fall out underneath me.”
Day has had experience with basketball in different types of settings. She said the talent level at Eastern wasn’t as good because the school was small, but she also competed on a travel team in Cincinnati.
Now at Loyola, she’s averaging 9.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game through six games this season. Sophomore center Kat Nolan said Day is enjoying her new lifestyle in the city.
“I think she really likes [Loyola],” Nolan said. “She has classes downtown, so she’s able to explore the city a lot. I know she likes the sounds of nature so this has been an adjustment for her. She always talks about her cows and how she goes to feed them. She told us how she calls them in, so we always mock her now with that.”
Despite that experience, Day said growing up on the farm taught her a lot about how important it is to have a good work ethic.
“You really have to work to achieve what you want, I mean the cows don’t just roam out there by themselves,” Day said. “My dad goes out and checks them every night, so it’s definitely a lot of hard work, but, in the end, we do make some profit off of it, so it’s a good business I guess.”
Nolan said Day has been a perfect fit with the Ramblers this season. Day’s value comes both on and off the court since she joined a group that already got along well, according to Nolan.
“On the court, she’s another big body for us,” Nolan said. “She’s really good at finishing around the rim and shooting outside shots. Her rebounding and defense is really good too. Outside of basketball, she’s really fun and goofy and she really brings the team together.”