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Legendary hoopster Van Guilder makes Hall of Fame

Van Guilder back in her playing days. (click for larger version)
September 15, 2010 - One can argue that Roslyn "Roz" Van Guilder (now Chapman) is the best female basketball player to every wear the blue and gold on the hardwood.

As a sophomore, Van Guilder was named most valuable player on the varsity girls soccer team and was named to the all-league and all-county lists as a volleyball player.

But it is was her exploits on the hardcourt under legendary coach Ian Smith that gave her the nod to become one of the charter members of the Oxford High School (OHS) Athletic Hall of Fame.

"It is quite an honor," Van Guilder said. "I was very honored to hear that I was in the first class of inductees. I was very surprised."

Shooting hoops is something that she remembers doing with her older brothers in the backyard when she was younger. She started playing organized basketball in fifth grade.

"I just liked the sport," she added.

Van Guilder today. (click for larger version)
Van Guilder, a graduate in 1987, had a brilliant high school basketball career.

After only playing two varsity contests as a freshman, she burst onto the scene as a sophomore, starting 24 of 25 games.

At the end of her sophomore season in 1984, she was already 12th on the all time OHS scoring list with 309 points. She also led the team in rebounds and assists.

The team finished 20-5 that season and advanced all the way to the Michigan High School Athletic Association quarterfinals.

In 1985, Van Guilder led the team in nine different statistical categories. That season she scored 435 points and pulled down 222 rebounds, she established a school record 120 steals in a season, which included a 14 steal game, a single game record.

That year the Wildcats finished 16-7 and made a trip to the MHSAA Regional finals.

After a successful junior campaign, she Van Guilder was named to the Oakland Press and Detroit Free Press Dream Team lists and was a unanimous first team all Flint Metro League (FML) selection.

She received over 40 scholarships to play basketball before she decided to sign her letter of intent to play for Michigan State in her junior year of high school.

"They had a good engineering school and it was closer to home than some of the other schools I was looking at," Van Guilder explained.

1986 would be another successful year for Van Guilder and the Wildcats.

They made another trip to the MHSAA Class "B" quarterfinal and had a 23-3 record that season. Van Guilder would establish two school records, most steals in a season (150) and most points in a game (38 vs. Fenton).

She was selected to the first team all-state in her senior season and when the season finished, she led the Wildcats in nine different categories, set six school records and had a spot on top of the FML all-time scoring list with 1,258 points.

That mark would stand for 22 years.

After the 1986 season, Van Guilder would finish eighth in the voting for Michigan's "Ms. Basketball Award."

She was also part of the Ohio vs. Michigan all-star series and played in the Junior Olympic Games in New Mexico.

Van Guilder said that it was the comradery that she enjoyed the most during her days on the hardwood.

"I was real close friends with a lot of the girls on the team and it was a lot of fun being part of a successful team like that," she said.

Upon entering college, Van Guilder became hampered by injuries, playing in 21 games for Karen Langeland's Spartans as a freshman. She would average six points and three rebounds as a sophomore, but played only nine games her junior season before being granted medical release due to her back injuries.

Van Guilder would graduate in 1992 from Michigan State with a bachelors degree in Civil Engineering.

She currently resides in Lansing and has been employed by the State of Michigan for 17 years as a Traffic and Safety Engineer for the Department of Transportation.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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