As a Cleveland native and former student at the University of Michigan, I have had the immense pleasure of watching a basketball legend shine on the court and emerge into one of the nation’s top ballers in the NCAA, male or female!
I knew Naz was special from the first time I heard the Wolverines had signed the Gilmour Academy star. Her highlight real was impressive. She had incredible court vision, could score at will, and had the LeBron-like ability to physically dominate a game on both ends of the court.
Since arriving on campus in Ann Arbor, Nazahrah Hillmon has been a superstar on and off the court. She has won consensus first-team honors in the B1G conference in her last two seasons, and recently was awarded the B1G player of the year for her 2020-2021 season and was selected to the first-team NCAA by Sports Illustrated.
As a Michigan fan, we always are painfully aware of how long it’s been since we beat Ohio State on the football field. On January 21, we were close to 3000 days since our last victory on the gridiron. That night, Naz put on a performance against the Buckeyes that had Michigan fans raving about watching her cathartic 50 point and 16 rebound thwapping of the OSU women’s hoops team. For a night, we reveled in victory against our bitter rival and football was not even an afterthought. Naz had demanded Michigan sports fans their undivided attention.
That performance would solidify Naz’s legend in Michigan sports history. It was an all-time performance that transcended gender and sport. Naz was a woman on a mission who had blossomed into an absolute problem for opposing defenses.
Naz is set to lead the Wolverines as the #13 ranked team in the country and 4-seed in the B1G tournament when play tips off tomorrow afternoon. Michigan fans and Cleveland natives who have followed her career will certainly be on the edge of our seats as we watch our favorite baller continue to cement her legacy in the game of basketball.
Written by Bryan Fraley of Ohio Media School