Large posters of Cece Hooks hung on the second floor of The Convo on Saturday afternoon. They showed Hooks shooting, passing, or grinning in an Ohio uniform for five seasons, all of which led to her becoming Ohio’s new all-time leading scorer on January 15.
Bobcat legend Caroline Mast Daugherty handed her successor a commemorative ball as fans cheered. However, no one cheered louder than Hooks’ teammates. They had pure joy on their faces as they held cutouts of her roster photos from past years. It was a feast they had patiently waited for.
Now the Bobcats have something new to celebrate.
With 1:44 to go into the third quarter, Hooks scored her 19th game of the game and officially became the Mid-American Conference’s new all-time leading scorer.
“I didn’t even know I had 19 (points) when it happened,” Hooks said. “I didn’t even know I’d done it.”
Ohio’s bank immediately ran to greet Hooks, who was jogging to the other basket. The same excitement as before spread across their faces as the same look came upon hers. There was nothing but love in The Convo.
The Defensive MAC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year rewrites history every time she takes to the field. Before she became Ohio’s leading scorer, she already held the program record for most career thefts and field goals. Hooks also holds the single-game scoring record, an accolade she earned in a game in which she made a mistake during the fourth quarter.
Hooks is a cornerstone of the Ohio team. She knows how to find the basket, but is also willing to give up the ball for an open teammate. Hooks is a selfless player both on and off the field. She wants what’s best for her team, no matter the situation
“She makes you feel like such a great teammate, whatever you do, whatever your role is,” said Kaylee Bambule. “She just makes me a better person(s) player.”
Ohio coach Bob Boldon wasn’t sure Hooks would break Ohio’s record when she first told him — let alone the conference record. Ohio’s previous scoring record of 2,449 points is a daunting number in itself. It would be an amazing achievement for any athlete to even come close.
Hooks didn’t just come close, she broke up midway through her final season. She has scored no less than 19 points in a game this season and shows no signs of slowing down.
Hooks continued to break Ohio’s record on Saturday. She finished Ohio’s defeat of Bowling Green with 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. She nearly scored a triple double in the biggest game of her career. Totals like this are routine for Hooks, but would be absurd for other players. She has a swagger on the field that cannot be replicated.
“It’s hard to quantify what she’s done here and really, really understand what that means,” Boldon said.
Hooks has taken the MAC by storm and she still has time to get what she’s always been looking for: a MAC Championship. But for now, she has two new awards to celebrate and lots of love thrown her way.
She has etched her name in both Ohio and MAC histories, and she still has plenty of time to spare.