Peyton Scott’s leadership has paid dividends on and off the court for Miami Women’s Basketball
By Jesús F. Jiménez, assistant director of digital content
Peyton Scott was a senior at Lynchburg-Clay High School in Lynchburg, Ohio, when she received a call from David Sayler.
Miami University’s director of intercollegiate athletics was calling to let her know that Megan Duffy, the coach who had recruited her to play basketball for the RedHawks, was leaving for Marquette University.
The text messages and phone calls poured in: Was Peyton going to change schools?
“I grew up on loyalty and commitment and I was like, ‘Whoever comes in, it’s God’s plan,’” she said. “Whatever happens happens, and if I really hate it that much after a year, I can leave.”
Peyton’s loyalty has paid off for her and Miami. A junior sports leadership and management major, she led Miami’s women’s basketball team in points (508), rebounds (161), assists (124) and steals (65) during her sophomore season.
“I’m grateful I decided to stay and grateful for my coaches and the constant impact that they continue to have on my life,” she said.
Earlier this year, Miami erected a statue of Wayne Embry ’58, one of Miami’s first Black student-athletes who went on to be the first Black general manager in professional sports, and honored Wayne and his late wife, Terri ’60, with the Freedom Summer of ’64 Award. Peyton was asked to speak at the ceremony and credited the couple with inspiring her to use her platform to impact others.
“Once I got to Miami I started realizing the impact that, not only basketball, but sports truly have on me as a person,” she said. “I’ll never stop talking about the platform that basketball has given me and the platform that Miami continues to give me through basketball.”
Peyton committed to play for the RedHawks during her sophomore year of high school. When Duffy left, Peyton and Amani Freeman were the only two not to switch schools. Now, her leadership has been instrumental during a coaching transition and a worldwide pandemic.
“In my eyes, how was I not going to give a new coaching staff or whoever came in an opportunity before they even got there and gave me a chance?” Peyton said. “Coach (DeUnna) Hendrix and her staff have been nothing but amazing to me and have had open arms since the day I got here.”
Basketball has been part of Peyton’s life as long as she can remember. She graduated Lynchburg-Clay as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,202 points, earning All-Ohio honors twice in her career and being named the Southern Hills Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
She credits coaches Rachael Smith, Chris Arrington and Dante Harlan from her time playing for the Cincinnati Angels for elevating her game to another level. They held her accountable in a way no one else had, and they pushed her to a new limit.
“I would not be even close to the person or player I am today without them, without that organization, with the way that they push me,” Peyton said.
Contributions to the Miami Athletic Fund and the women’s basketball team help support student-athletes such as Peyton. Contributions can be made anytime or during #MoveInMiami, the university’s annual day of giving traditionally held each year during move-in day. This year’s #MoveInMiami is Aug. 19 with a goal of 2,025 gifts in 20 hours and 25 minutes in honor of the Class of 2025.
“I’m very grateful and I know that that scholarship has given me so many opportunities,” she said. “It’s built so many connections and relationships for me, and it’s opened doors that I never thought I would’ve opened before, paths I never thought I would’ve gone down.”
#MoveInMiami is a fun, fast-paced fundraising event on move-in day to welcome the incoming first-year class to Oxford. On Aug. 19, 2021, follow us throughout the day with live and pre-recorded content around campus and Uptown. Our goal is to raise 2,025 gifts in 20 hours and 25 minutes in honor of the Class of 2025 – no gift is too small! Learn about the projects you can support and donate now at MoveInMiami.org. Because sometimes the smallest act makes the biggest impact.