Ivey Slaughter and Nausia Woolfolk certainly are looking forward to returning to Middle Georgia for their game Wednesday at Mercer.
But their families might be even more excited.
Slaughter, a senior, and Woolfolk, a freshman, will join their Florida State teammates at Hawkins Arena at 7 p.m. on Wednesday when the seventh-ranked Seminoles take on Mercer.
“It’s very exciting. I haven’t played in Macon since my senior year, and it’s very exciting just to go back home,” said Slaughter, a former Tattnall Square standout. “Most definitely, I was extremely excited, and I think my family was more excited than I was. They get to see me play some, but playing at home in Macon is exciting for all of us.”
With good reason.
Slaughter is off to a strong start to her final season with Florida State, starting all 11 games in the team’s 10-1 start before Monday’s game against North Florida while averaging 11.6 points per game.
She is averaging 23.0 minutes per game, while shooting 57.5 percent (45-of-80) from the floor and 87.5 percent (35-of-40) from the free-throw line. Slaughter leads the team in rebounding (6.1 per game) and ranks second with 20 steals.
“First, it’s just playing hard,” Slaughter said of the key to her success. “I was always taught to play hard growing up. Coaches don’t really look at scoring all the time; they look at how hard people play. That’s been with me a long time. My dad taught me that and doing the little things, like guarding one of the best post players, defending, taking charges and things like that.”
Woolfolk, a former Peach County star, is averaging 9.8 minutes and 3.3 points per game. She has made four of her 12 3-point tries and six of her 10 free-throw attempts.
She is shooting 10-of-26 from the floor overall.
“It’s great coming in as a freshman and learning new things and playing with such great players and having people to help you. It’s like a new start,” Woolfolk said. “You have people there to hold you up and help you push through a game. We’re all there for each other, and that’s very exciting.”
Having Slaughter on the roster certainly is helping make Woolfolk’s transition a little easier. She was a scoring dynamo in high school, averaging 23.9 points per game in her four seasons at Peach County.
“I knew her a little a bit. We weren’t as close as we are now. Before then, I had heard about her and had talked to her a couple of times,” Woolfolk said of Slaughter. “We got close, and that’s one of the things that I like. Even though we weren’t close when I came here, we have gotten close. She kind of took me under her wing, so that was a great experience for me, and that helped me out a lot.
“She taught me things, and she talked to me and said, ‘It’s going to be hard, but you have to fight through it, and if you need anything, I’m here, and I will help you with anything.’ Having her was a big influence for me here.”