The women’s basketball team at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice is now in the thick of CUNYAC action. Tough non-conference play provided a solid foundation, but thus far, conference action has been a bit challenging: The Bloodhounds won their CUNYAC opener against City College but lost to Brooklyn College and York College.

“We have a very big returning core that did have a successful year last year, and we knew that to truly prepare ourselves to not only get to where we were last year but to try to go above and beyond, we definitely needed to play a much tougher non-conference schedule,” said John Jay head coach Lynda Day.

“I thought that we handled ourselves pretty well,” she added. “For the first time, I had the good issue of having so much depth and trying to see what combinations we can put together and what are our ultimate strengths.”

Division III is often a challenge because it has no athletic scholarships. In addition, many of these players have part-time jobs as well as to being full-time students. Many coaches at CUNY institutions also have other jobs. Day is fortunate that as of January 2022, she is full-time at John Jay, also serving as coordinator of student success, which connects her to the college’s other athletic teams.

“You’re in school and you have the opportunity to continue playing the sport you love,” Day said. “When they were little girls, they picked up a ball and they fell in love, wanting to play it for as long as they possibly can. Quite a few of them do work when we’re in season. [I have] tremendous respect for how they handle all that. They’re also good students. They take everything they do seriously.”

Day appreciates the diversity of interests of the student-athletes on her team. Several want to become law enforcement officers, while others have different interests. There are several transfers from community colleges.

“We do draw a lot of out-of-state interest because of our unique set of majors,” she said. “Our forensics program has taken off. A lot of kids love our toxicology program. The student-athletes we bring in, they really want what the school has to offer … Winning always helps recruiting.”

John Jay has a home game against Lehman College on Saturday afternoon. 

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