Birthdays in the Spielman household mean that when the clan gathers for dinner, each family member states a personality trait they like about the guest of honor.
When Macy Spielman turned 18 on Jan. 8, one word became a common theme.
"Everybody talked about her humility. It's the best quality she has," said Macy's father, former Ohio State and NFL linebacker Chris Spielman. "She's scored a lot of points, but she has a strong faith and she gets everybody involved. She invests time in all of her teammates, freshmen to seniors. She'll give teammates rides to and from practice. I've always been taught that one of the most valuable things you can give people is time, and not the quantity of time, but quality."
Macy, a 5-foot-10 senior point guard for the Upper Arlington High School girls basketball team, is quick to credit her coaches and teammates for a career that already has seen her become the program's all-time leading scorer and featured a Division I district championship her freshman year and a district runner-up finish last season.
Spielman, a Bowling Green recruit who has started every game of her prep career, had 1,369 career points before the Golden Bears played Hilliard Bradley on Jan. 15. She moved to the top of the program's scoring list Nov. 28 during an 81-49 loss to Newark, eclipsing the previous mark of 1,129 points shared by former teammate Kortney Eisenman, a 2016 graduate, and 2004 graduate Michele DeVault.
Through 14 games, in which the Bears were 9-5 overall and 4-2 in the OCC-Central Division, Spielman was averaging 19.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 2.1 assists. She leads the team in three of those categories and is second to senior forward Sarah Poling (2.6) in assists.
"I've played with great players. They are great people and I've learned so much from them on and off the court," Spielman said. "I came in as a freshman and I was kind out of control. (Coach Chris) Savage threw me into the fire and I appreciate that each day. It's prepared me not only for high school, but also the collegiate level. Nothing is given. It's all earned and I appreciate what he and my teammates have done for me the past four years.
"A lot of those points came from assists. It's not just me."
Savage long has said that he knew from the first time he watched Spielman play, when she was in third grade, that she would be his point guard in high school. Spielman also played lacrosse and softball growing up, but, according to her father, gave up those sports in middle school to focus on basketball.
"There was no doubt even at that age what kind of player she was going to turn out to be," Savage said, adding that he's never coached a point guard who sees time at every position on the floor as Spielman does. "She can play wherever she wants. She is so strong. She is mentally tough and just a good person. ...
"She takes a lot of shots, but they're shots a player of her caliber can make. She forces it a little bit, but I think all good players do sometimes. She gets girls involved and gives everybody chances."
Poling, who was averaging 4.5 points and 3.7 rebounds through 14 games, said Spielman's versatility provides scoring chances for her, among others.
"That gives defenses some headaches and it opens things up for everybody else," Poling said. "She brings a level of energy to our team that every team needs. She's a wonderful teammate and an excellent leader."
While Macy called her father her "No. 1 supporter" and toughest critic, something she embraces, she also cherishes her late mother's memory. Stefanie Spielman died from breast cancer on Nov. 19, 2009, when Macy was 8.
"She's my motivation for everything. I say a prayer to her before every game," Macy said.
"It's for her, every time. She's always with me. I'm playing for something so much more meaningful than a record or a win."
Boys basketball team playing without Martz
The boys basketball team expects to play at least the rest of January without standout forward Max Martz, a Penn recruit who injured his back during a Dec. 21 game against Westland.
Martz has been on crutches for most of the past two weeks and is not expected back until early to mid-February at the earliest.
UA won its first three games without Martz but last week sustained its first back-to-back losses in more than three years, falling to visiting Olentangy 60-53 on Jan. 8 and league rival Dublin Coffman 58-34 at home three nights later. The Bears were outscored 21-6 in the fourth quarter against the Braves and had a 19-game OCC-Central winning streak snapped with the loss to the Shamrocks.
Coffman was the last team to beat UA in a league contest, 64-59 in overtime on Jan. 20, 2017.
The Bears had not lost consecutive games since Dec. 29 and 30, 2015.
UA was 7-3 overall before playing Hartley on Jan. 15 and is 4-1 in the OCC-Central entering a Friday, Jan. 18, game at Central Crossing.
"(Martz) is a big loss. He leads us in so many ways, not just in terms of his basketball skills, but also his leadership, work ethic, how he comes to practice and sets the tone," coach Tim Casey said. "We've been fortunate the past several years to go without a significant injury, but everybody is stepping up. We've changed a few roles, but nothing much."
Martz was averaging 17.4 points and 4.3 rebounds at the time of his injury.
Sammy Sass led UA in scoring against both Olentangy and Coffman with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Jake Warinner added 12 points, C.J. Karsatos had 11 points and eight rebounds and Kobe Buford scored 10 against the Braves.
"I've told those other guys, 'Let's have (Martz) return when he's healthy to something special,'" Casey said. "Let's not have him come back to a bad team."
Swimmers wrap up dual meet schedule
The swimming and diving teams will compete in their final dual meets of the season this weekend when they play host to Dublin Jerome on Friday, Jan. 18, and Olentangy on Saturday, Jan. 19.
Both teams are 7-1 in duals, including a sweep of visiting Hilliard Davidson on Jan. 11. The boys team won 126-59 and the girls team routed the Wildcats 147-19.
The teams combined to win every event that night except for the boys 100-yard backstroke and boys 50 freestyle.
After this weekend, UA will play host to the OCC-Central meet Jan. 26. That is the final regular-season meet for many of the Bears' swimmers, although junior varsity competitors will wrap up their season in the Upper Arlington Invitational on Feb. 2.
Below are the coming schedules for the Upper Arlington boys basketball, girls basketball, gymnastics, hockey, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 18 -- At Central Crossing. The Golden Bears defeated the Comets 60-34 on Dec. 7.
Jan. 19 -- Home vs. Willoughby Andrews Osborne Academy
Jan. 22 -- At Westerville North
*Jan. 18 -- Home vs. Central Crossing. The Golden Bears defeated the Comets 54-24 on Dec. 7.
Jan. 22 -- Home vs. Westerville North
Jan. 17 -- At Thomas Worthington with Thornville Sheridan
Jan. 21 -- At Olentangy with Big Walnut, Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Darby, Hilliard Davidson and Olentangy Liberty
Jan. 23 -- At Worthington Kilbourne with Grove City and Westerville Central
Jan. 18 -- Cincinnati St. Xavier in Mark Rasmus Memorial Tournament at Tam O'Shanter in Sylvania
Jan. 19 -- Dublin Jerome and Toledo St. John's in Mark Rasmus Memorial Tournament
Jan. 20 -- TBD in Mark Rasmus Memorial Tournament
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 18 -- Home vs. Dublin Jerome
Jan. 19 -- Home vs. Olentangy
*Jan. 17 -- Home vs. Central Crossing
Jan. 19 -- Panther Invitational at Pickerington North