Captain of Andover Girls Basketball, Emma Kelley ’17 grew up shooting hoops and practicing crossovers at the Y.M.C.A. in Andover and at the Boys and Girls Club in Lawrence. A homegrown player, Kelley developed her skills under the tutelage of her father, who coached her throughout elementary school until she began to play on Andover’s town team and on an A.A.U. team.
Kelley achieved the impressive feat of making varsity as a Junior. Within only two years on the team, Kelley distinguished herself as a leader and received the title of captain when she was only an Upper.
Kelley is versatile on the court, playing the positions of both point guard and shooting guard. Her natural talent, extensive basketball knowledge, and experience make her one of the most influential members of the team both on and off the court, as attested to by her teammates.
“Emma is very composed as a player,” said Claire Brady ’20. “She helps to bring out the strengths in others because she is very good at handling the ball, shooting, defense, and really everything. So, it is really great that she can be a leader off and on the court.”
Emily Hardy ’20 said, “Emma is a terrific captain and a great leader. She leads by example, always pushing herself in each and every drill. She is always talking during practices and games, keeping everyone on the team motivated and in sync.”
As a Senior captain, Kelley makes an effort to set an example for her team by working hard on the court and putting her teammates above herself.
Kelley wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I strive to be what my past captains have been for me. Without the role models I have encountered through athletics, I wouldn’t be where I am now. As a leader at Andover, it’s easy to lose humility with zealot and dedication. I strive to strike balance between humility and dedication through every practice and game.”
This year, Kelley held an important transitionary role in welcoming three new members onto the team: Brady, Hardy, and Post-Graduate Corina Lindsay ’17. As captain, she excels at balancing the atmosphere of the team and frequently asks for feedback from her teammates.
Hardy said, “Emma made sure from day one that every new player added to the team felt included and a part of the team. She always makes sure everyone’s opinion is heard, and no one on the team is afraid to speak their opinion.”
Returner Molly Katarincic ’18 said, “Emma is a really great captain because she is really responsive to the needs of the team. She is always asking us for feedback and suggestions and she really listens when we have an idea or concern. Emma is a good leader because she has the ability to laugh and make practice a good time, but she also recognizes when we need to get serious and focus. We have been really lucky to have her as a captain for the past two years.”
Unfortunately, this season, Andover has been unable to capitalize on opportunities in games and has accumulated a record of 1-4 thus far. Despite this tough start, the team hopes to secure future wins by working hard and preparing rigorously for the upcoming games.
Brady said, “We haven’t been executing in games and don’t have that many wins so far; however, I think that we are getting better and that more positive outcomes will come as we improve.”
In her final year at Andover, Kelley has high hopes both for the team and the rest of the season.
Kelley said, “This season is far different from others because it is my last at Andover. I am hoping to have a lot of fun this season. We are a talented, fast group and I think we have the potential to compete against teams we have lost to in the past. Personally, I am hoping to bring a mature and calm perspective to every game, something I struggled to do last season. Above all, winning Andover/Exeter is really important to me; I want to end this season on a high note.”
Editor’s Note: Emma Kelley is a Features Editor for The Phillipian.