When sophomore guard Shyanne Sellers needed a ride from Baltimore-Washington International Airport this fall, she knew exactly who to ask.
“Abby [Meyers is] just really a mom at heart, like a real mom, just wants to make sure everyone’s OK, so that’s why I didn’t really hesitate to call [Meyers] and see if she could pick me up,” Sellers said.
Meyers, a Potomac, Maryland, native, returned home to play with the Terps for her senior year. In her first season with the team, Meyers was one of four players voted as a captain — a decision made solely by her teammates.
The former Princeton guard is co-captaining coach Brenda Frese’s squad with senior guard Diamond Miller, senior forward Faith Masonius and fifth-year forward Brinae Alexander, who transferred from Vanderbilt.
While Meyers brings a wealth of experience to her new team — she captained Princeton and the U.S. national team at the summer 2022 Maccabiah Games in Israel — her goal ahead of the season was to get to know her teammates.
“Coming into this program, it did cross my mind like, ‘How can I be a leader on this team?’” Meyers said. “For me, it was really trying to earn the respect and trust of each player and trying to build those individual relationships on and off the court.”
Meyers’ impact is not only seen on the court, coaching up younger players who are acclimating to the college game, but she also acts as a “mother figure” off of it.
Frese even overheard Meyers talking to the team’s four “baby freshmen,” providing tips on physical and mental self care.
Whether it’s rides from the airport or offering health advice, Meyers has assumed the upperclassman, leadership role she thought about this summer.
“She’s very hands-on with me as a freshman,” freshman guard Bri McDaniel said of Meyers. “I got my wisdom teeth taken out a month or two ago, and she came in and helped me, got me some soup.”
This season, Frese and her coaching staff decided players who wanted to run for captain had to give a speech to the team addressing why they wanted to be captain and what their qualifications were.
Among the players to speak was Alexander, who arrived in College Park after four seasons with Vanderbilt. In just a few months on the campus, the Tennessee native quickly earned the praise of her teammates.
“[Alexander’s] gonna tell you what you need to hear,” Sellers said. “I think it’s very important for someone who wants to be a captain to come into a new school and not be afraid to say their piece and say what’s on their mind.”
On a team with six underclassmen, Alexander has emphasized individual relationship-building with her teammates and learning how to best interact with them.
“It’s all about your approach,” Alexander said. “Everyone needs to be approached differently. It’s all about learning your teammates, bonding with them, spending time with them, knowing what they like, knowing where they’re coming from.”
Alexander’s hands-on and communicative leadership style left Frese unsurprised when she was voted captain as a new player on the team.
“She’s really always looking to see how she can help others,” Frese said of Alexander. “She kind of has that mother hen to her.”
Not only is Alexander willing to speak up in difficult moments and deliver hard truths — a skill not every player possesses — but she is also a player who holds herself to a high standard in practice and outside of basketball.
“[Alexander] is one of those people that you can depend on to help bring the same level of excellence every day,” freshman guard Ava Sciolla said. “She does the little things and leads by example but also is very vocal … She brings everybody together.”
With exhibition games beginning in late October, Frese knows neither Meyers nor Alexander has much else on their minds except putting the team first and trying to help gel a roster unfamiliar with playing together.
“They’re just natural-born leaders,” Frese said of Alexander and Meyers. “I think with that experience and both played at a really high level and just really understand each and every day, coming in and what can they do to help make us better.”