Campus Angle by Marvin Pave | Boston Globe West
Payton Ouimette has made a big contribution in her first season with Babson.
A transfer from Connecticut College, the 5-foot-10-inch Ouimette, through nine games, was leading the team with 14.3 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 28 minutes per game, and was shooting a team-best 60.2 percent. She pulled down a career-high 21 rebounds and added 18 points to spark a 61-56 comeback over visiting Roanoke College Dec. 18, then put up 22 points on 10-for-13 shooting and nine boards in a 69-63 loss to Bates Dec. 20.
She was honored twice this season as the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the week.
Babson, 24-6 last season and an NCAA Division 3 regional semifinalist, was off to a 6-3 start.
"Payton has been a great addition to our program and has fit in right away on a young team with eight new players,'' said Judy Blinstrub, Babson's head coach of 34 seasons. "Her rebounding is phenomenal, she has a nice up-fake and drive, and she's expanded her outside shot.''
Ouimette, 20, averaged 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds and shot 45.6 percent at Connecticut College.
A basketball captain at Medfield High and a member of that school's first Division 2 state championship in girls basketball in 2013, Ouimette also played volleyball and soccer and set program records in the shot put and javelin with the spring track team.
Her sister, Sophia, was a senior on Medfield's D-2 championship basketball team this past season.
Q. What was behind your decision to transfer to Babson?
A. I decided I wanted to earn a degree in business, and one of my former teammates in high school, Jen Narlee, who graduated Babson this year, where she played soccer and basketball, had great things to say about the college.
Q. Was it difficult at first with a new team?
A. I was coming back from mono, so that made it tougher. What made it easier, though, was our transition offense, which was very much like how we played in high school. Also, one of my new Babson teammates, Katherine Tamulionis, was a former Bay State Jaguars AAU teammate, and she introduced me to the players.
Q. How would you describe your skills as a rebounder?
A. It's always kind of been my thing. I'm not the tallest player at my position, so I've had to work harder to get to the boards. I've been competitive-minded in all the sports I've played, and that has carried over to my desire on the court.
Q. When did you feel basketball would be a big part of your future?
A. When I was playing AAU basketball, our coach, Sam Doner, had a goal of helping us reach the college level, and I started to believe that by the time I was a high school freshman.
Q. How did it feel to play on a state championship team?
A. Amazing. You feel joy and pride, and some relief when you win. To be part of our school's first championship team was an honor. Then to be in the stands when my sister's team won this year I was happy because she was, too.
Q. Who was your favorite teacher in high school?
A. Jessica Safer, my statistics teacher senior year. She was also my basketball coach so she understood our lives outside the classroom. Statistics is so real world and made me think how it could relate to the business world someday.
Q. What is your favorite memory growing up in Medfield?
A. Celebrating Medfield Day in September. The streets are closed down and there are booths everywhere representing everything the town has to offer, like paintings by local artists, kids activities, how to join the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and also getting involved in youth sports.
Q. Has playing closer to home made a difference in your life?
A. It's been great having close friends and family come to our games, and that makes me want to play better. After some of our games, I'll bump into people I haven't seen since my high school days.
Q. What is your favorite family time?
A. Summers in Falmouth on Cape Cod. We have a time share cottage on Surf Drive, right on the beach. We love walking through town for ice cream, and our extended family comes to visit. It's a nice break.