The pandemic ended things a little early last spring for St. Bonaventure students and athletes. For Dajah Logan, Senior year was cut short. Logan had plans to play in front of scouts at the Final Four and to be a part of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association program in New Orleans.
"It turned into a very humbling experience having to send out a resume and having being a college athlete was the only thing on my resume at the time," she said.
In these difficult times Logan turned to watching and studying the game of basketball, watching coaching conferences and catching up with different people. People who helped her receive the opportunity to be a graduate assistant at Kent State University.
As a graduate assistant on the women's basketball coaching staff, Logan helps with instruction she demonstrates and participates in workouts and practices with the team. Using her background in photography she also makes graphics and does video work.
Other than assisting the team, she continues to be a student of the game.
"I'm in the position where I get the chance to really listen and take time to see how people operate behind the scenes and on the court. Which is an opportunity we don't really get as players. I'll give input when it's asked for, give my opinion or try to contribute, but right now I'm listening a lot."
Walking around with a notepad, Logan mirrors plays and writes down key terms to pick and choose pieces that she'd like to incorporate into her coaching style some day.
Playing basketball for so long has put her in the position to come across many different coaches and coaching styles. Aspiring to be a great influence to young people and to teach the game, Logan says she would love to take the best of every coach she's met and make the best coach possible.
"I love basketball. I love everything about it and I think my calling for it was always to teach it and, of course, play it too."
To prepare for her own job as coach some day Logan admires Alexa Golden, Kent State's assistant coach. "For her to be my age and have an impact on people our age is inspiring. I get the chance to listen to her, take some of her dialogue and see how she conducts herself in a way that people have respect for."
This is just the beginning for Logan, with dreams of being a big name in the coaching world and having her own staff someday. However she's learned that it isn't about being in charge. "If it's meant for me to just work with great people and a great program in a great environment, I would love that."
After being a senior captain and leader on last year's Bonnies, the tables have turned. She's gone from being a leading voice on the team to not saying much. But she continues to learn from not saying much. As a player it was easy to speak quickly on things she didn't agree with. But seeing things from a coach's perspective now gives her time to process and figure things out until they make sense.
"The barrier between player and coach isn't as far off as we think it is," She said. "You've got a lot of basketball players who still wish they could play. We go out there every day, we shoot and we tell the girls we're better than them."
While the coaching world is definitely welcoming, it is a different environment. Logan goes out there and makes the best of the time with the staff, making jokes and being goofy. "I challenge myself to continue to be me," staying positive, motivating others and just an overall being a good person are qualities she doesn't want to lose.
Experiencing many coaches who get so caught up in winning and being competitive that they are on edge daily, Logan plans to show others that they can love to win, love competitiveness but still influence, inspire and motivate people.
Every day she works to be the type of coach she would want to be coached by, communicating in beneficial ways and joking with players when the time is right. She tries to show players that she cares for and believes in them. Even when they do something wrong she tries to give them confidence that they can do it correctly.
"Developing relationships in a different perspective. Like from a coach's perspective rather than from a player's perspective is probably my most enjoyable thing," she said.
Watching the game every day Logan does start to miss playing. Hoping to continue her coaching career Logan still doesn't want to count out playing professionally some day. Getting in shape and the numerous injuries she's encountered are the biggest obstacles.
Since freshman year at the University of Charleston, Logan has faced adversity. Including dealing with injuries every day and being in the training room 24/7 at Bonaventure. But this all has prepared her to be where she is today.
- Deja Francis, Athletics Communications Intern