The idea of playing one more season for Ohio State didn't immediately strike Amy Scullion as a no-brainer.
The first-year medical school student had to think about an invitation from coach Kevin McGuff to rejoin the team.
"It wasn't like I was just sitting around going to med school and [thinking], 'Wow, I'm so bored,'" Scullion said. "Med school was very intense. It was a tough decision, actually."
The decision came after "probably a solid week" of soul-searching, she said.
"I know this is a great opportunity, but it was something I really had to wrap my mind around and be able to know that I could be successful at doing both," Scullion said.
Ten days later, a delighted and somewhat surprised Scullion will wear No. 25 for the Buckeyes (1-2) for the first time since March in a game today against VCU (3-1) at Value City Arena.
"The first time when I came back, I remember I put on all of my gear and I just felt like I was playing dress-up," Scullion said. "In my mind, I thought that chapter of my life was over. So to be back was crazy."A starter last season as a fourth-year junior, Scullion had decided to forego her final season of eligibility to concentrate on med school. McGuff was bringing in seven new players to go with five returnees.
One transfer, one dismissal and three season-ending knee injuries caused McGuff to turn to Scullion and gauge her interest in returning. As it happened, her former teammates also were thinking about her.
"It was so funny," junior guard Ameryst Alston said. "We had seen her on campus. We were asking her and just joking around, 'Oh, you want to come back?' And what do you know, she is back."
The addition of Scullion increases the roster to eight players and adds a senior voice to a team that did not have one.
"Amy is going to be a lot of help," Alston said. "She works really hard. It is just a blessing to have her. I think she is the most unselfish person ever, to come back and help us."
The return did feature a speed bump: The NCAA levied a three-game suspension against Scullion for a minor rules violation.
"We all thought she was done; she took a postgraduate scholarship," McGuff said. "She had one situation with a group of other athletes where she signed some autographs [for money]."
The Buckeyes gave all the information to the NCAA, which made its decision. Scullion is busy tuning up her basketball engine so that she "can give people a couple of minutes to breathe."
"I'm in med-school shape," she said, laughing. "I think I can go in and play hard, and that's what I like to do anyway. I'm glad I'm back."