The Senior Who Beats The Buzzer

For nearly a decade, senior Olivia Ori has found comfort and passion on the basketball court. She currently is the shooting guard for the girls varsity basketball team, her third season participating at the highest level of the sport.

She has tried to play different sports throughout her life including softball and volleyball, but basketball gives her a different feeling, a better feeling—it makes her forget about all of her worries and stress.

Ori has played on many different teams in the last ten years starting at the Lindenhurst Park District, then moving to the Jr. Sequoits feeder program and ultimately playing for the Antioch Upper Grade School Warriors. When high school came around, she played for the school and also switched to more intense teams for the spring and summer seasons by starting to play AAU basketball. She had played for the Lake County Challengers, AGB Hawks and Bowen Basketball.

She would go to practices early, stayed after and continued to practice her shot in her driveway at home. Whenever the team needs a quick shot they make sure to get her open and get her the ball.

Her coach of three years has a lot of confidence in her and feels she is a very coachable person, which is not always the easiest trait to find in a player.

“[Olivia] is one of our best three point shooters,” girls varsity basketball coach Jamie D’Andrea said. “If she gets a pass and her shot is in rhythm, there’s nobody else I’d rather have shooting that shot.”

Ori has used her shooting ability to help the team out of tight games and even increase the leads in most of them. One moment she will never forget was during a JV tournament her freshman year, she had a last second half court shot to win the game for the Sequoits in overtime. Not only has she made a positive impact on her coaches, but also on her teammates throughout the years.

Junior Becca Ustich had nothing but good things to say about Ori on and off the court.

Olivia helps her team understand the game because she gives them pointers on the court on what to do and how to do it in order to strengthen the team and allow them to gain points,” Ustich said. “Off the court, Olivia helps anyone and everyone with anything they need.”

Being a genuine person in the real world and on the basketball court isn’t always the most common thing, but Ori works hard at it and makes sure she does it well.

Even though Ori’s high school basketball career is coming to an end, she is very grateful for the years and memories she has made.

She also encourages other people to try basketball and to get involved in sports so they can have forever friends and memories from them. Ori even has some advice for anyone in the future that is willing to give basketball a shot.

“To any future basketball players: play basketball for yourself,” Ori said. “Do not let anyone tell you that you can’t do it or bring you down. Just keep working.”

This advice does not only go for basketball or sports, it goes for people that are willing to try something new and work at it to get better.