ASHLAND -- If home really is where the heart is, it seems to be where the swagger is too. Former South Medford star guard Remi Mejia left to play Division-1 basketball at Portland State, but didn't get a ton of playing time over four seasons. As a graduate transfer for SOU, she has regained her love for basketball.
"It's an amazing feeling being back home in general, but also it's amazing to be part of a team where every single one of my teammates is special," Mejia said.
She has been a key for SOU this season, now working on its third straight successful regular season. Missing from prior rosters, including one that saw them reach the national title game in 2016, was a bonafide star. Mejia provides that star power.
"Remi is a great player, but she's an even better person," head coach Alex Carlson said, "When you bring those types of intangibles to a program, it brings it to the next level."
Moving closer to home has helped Mejia's game and she has fit right in with a Raiders team that is young outside of her, senior guard Toria Bradford and a couple others.
"It's such a plus having Remi on the team," Bradford said, "I love her as a person, but I also know I'm not going to be the only one giving people crap [defensively], she's going to be there doing it for me too."
And after feeling distant at Portland State, the trip home has reminded Mejia what it's like to play for a group with one common goal.
"I haven't been part of a team since high school. It feels like a family," Mejia said, "This team is like my second family."