As snowflakes begin to fall and the holidays are just around the corner, star athletes prepare for their first season of their high school basketball career. Lincoln- Way Central’s freshman girls basketball team is off to an exciting start. These girls would not be the hardworking athletes they are today without their devotion to the game of basketball. I had the opportunity to speak with Claire Dubois and Olivia Poplawska to discuss their past basketball experiences and their future success.
To kick off the season the girls are looking forward to the growth and camaraderie of the team. Olivia believes that learning how to communicate on the court with a new team will be a fun and interesting experience. Although the duo is starting fresh on a new team, both have roots in basketball. The athletes have each played for four years but share different plans. Olivia will continue to shoot hoops for the rest of her years at LWC, but Claire remains undecided. Claire says that her true path leads to golf. Claire and Olivia may have different futures, but the two can recall their inspiration that started their basketball career. Olivia tells the story of how she gained an interest in basketball at the age of ten. She started out by asking friends and neighbors to help her learn the basics. As her proficiency increased, her love for basketball grew stronger. Claire elaborates on how her friends have always motivated her to pursue her basketball career.
The girls played basketball throughout junior high at different schools. Claire’s experience at Martino Junior High was not as rewarding as it is now. Olivia reminisces on her positive school and park district coaches that have encouraged her to reach for greater heights. The two athletes agreed that the skills and confidence they have gained in the past allowed them to transfer it to the high school team. Claire acknowledges the contrasts between her middle school and high school coaches, stating that, the Knights Freshman girls’ basketball coach is very optimistic and displays the characteristics of a role model. Not only have their current coaches motivated them, but their families have had a key role in their lives as well. Olivia’s mom has been an important asset in her life. Her mom attends every game and refuses to let Olivia give up even at her lowest point. Her mom’s support has shaped Olivia to be the person she is today. On the other hand, Claire’s dad pushes her to strive through obstacles even when dealing with tough circumstances. Mr. Dubois has been known for putting difficult situations into a new perspective.
Staying positive and taking one game at a time is a beneficial method to becoming a stellar athlete. All players have different ways to warm up before each game or match. Olivia and Claire enjoy hyping their teammates up and lightening the mood before hitting the court. At times a player can be faced with anxiety before a game. The pair describes their methods for dealing with nervousness. Claire and Olivia always shake off their pre-game jitters by having faith in their abilities and remembering to have fun. Their confidence, discipline, and dedication will only add to their strong athletic ability. Good luck to these ladies and the promising Knights basketball squad this season!