Senior Swary shows leadership off the bench


Senior Guard Aleah Swary takes a free throw against Buffalo on Jan. 31 in McGuirk Arena.

In her final year as a member of Central Michigan women’s basketball, Aleah Swary has embraced her role coming off the bench. 

Swary does not have a single start for the Chippewas this season, but has played a part in all 21 wins. 

The senior guard has averaged 8.6 minutes per game, scoring 2.8 points per game. 

“Everybody on our team is a scorer,” Swary said. “I know that I have to have a scoring mindset on our team and be that spark of the bench.” 

Swary has logged even more minutes in several rivalry games this season. Most notably, she played 15 minutes and scored five points in a 74-70 home victory over Western Michigan. 

CMU head coach Sue Guevara credited Swary’s toughness as the reason for her success. 

“Maybe it’s because she’s a senior now, but her level of mental toughness has raised,” Guevara said. "(Her toughness) really helps the team."


In addition to her toughness, Swary has tried to become a better leader. The senior has been more vocal and has been a great role model off the bench, Guevara said. 

“What I have really appreciated about her is she’s much more vocal,” Guevara said. “She’s very specific when she’s talking to people about what she sees on the court.” 

Swary sets a good example with her actions too, Guevara said.

“She’s a really good role model for our players coming off the bench,” Guevara said. “(Swary) helps them understand how important their role is.”

Home away from home

Swary has a unique difference from every other player on the Chippewas roster. The Fort Wayne, Indiana native is the only player from outside of Michigan. 

“I’ve gotten close to some people in the community, so it still feels like another home,” Swary said.  

The senior likes to hang out with her teammates and this group is her favorite team out of four years at CMU. 

“This is the closest, most family-oriented team I’ve ever played with,” Swary said. “Let me tell you — it’s drama free and it’s lovely.”

As expected, Swary’s has her sights set on a championship ring in her last season. 

“We’re trying to get a championship,” Swary said. “We just have to take it one game at a time and hopefully we’ll wind up as champions.”