Starting in 20 out of 22 games, Women’s Basketball freshman Abbie “Brick” Brickley of Sandy, Utah is proving to be a key element in the team’s chemistry both on and off the court. With an average of 28 minutes per game, and contributing a total of 262 points for the season thus far, her presence is more than welcomed by her fellow teammates.
As a freshman, Abbie commented on how appreciative she was for the welcoming attitudes the upperclassmen gave to both herself and freshman teammate Kenzie Kuhn. When discussing their overall season, Brickley stated, “It was rough at first. We were trying to figure out our chemistry and we would win some and lose some. It’s like a huge roller coaster. After we went to Puerto Rico, our team just had as our coach always says ‘it’. We had ‘it.’ We had chemistry.”
When asked about this “it,” Brickley spoke about Melissa Hodgdon, the coach of Wheaton College’s Women’s Basketball team. Hodgdon mentioned that having “it” requires the combination of both bleeding blue and believing in the team philosophy. This, according to Hodgdon, “starts off the court. It’s always about a true team. And when you have a team that gets it, gets ‘it’ together, that’s the team that wins.
Currently in the season, the Lyons are tied for sixth place and need to finish strong to secure their spot in the NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) tournament. With a conference record of 6-9 and overall 8-14, the team has three more conference games in the remaining season. As for Brickley’s motivations behind success, “I really want to do it for my seniors and I think everyone is in the same boat.”
Led by senior captains Nicole Cullinane, Gabbie DePalo, and Kristina Paolino, in addition to sophomore captain Laura Pierce, Coach Hodgdon explained the depth of their roles. Each of the captains, according to Coach Hodgdon, “play more than just the role of team captains. In their freshmen year, their seniors made them the leaders they are today.”
There is no doubt for Coach Hodgdon that both Kenzie and Abbie will go far. “Kenzie and Abbie have worked hard everyday since day one…this is why I know they will not only be great players but great leaders for the future of this program,” said Coach Hodgdon.