A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Co-Captain Molly Katarincic ’18 began playing basketball in the second grade on her local neighborhood team. As she grew older, she became more serious about the sport and played on various Amateur Athletic Union [AAU] travel teams.
Katarincic credits her four years as a member of Andover Girls Basketball for teaching her the value of perseverance and the importance of having a supportive team.
“I think basketball at Andover has taught me resilience in a lot of different ways, whether that’s fighting for playing time or coming back from injury and learning new skills. All of my four seasons here have had a lot of ups and downs, which has taught me to lean on my team in times of struggle,” said Katarincic.
Now serving as captain, Katarincic demonstrates her love for basketball and her perseverance through positivity and encouragement for the team to work hard and play as a unit, according to Emily Hardy ’20 and Hannah McGrath ’20.
“Molly is always very encouraging. She focuses on the positives, and she helps to keep everyone’s spirits up, especially when we are tired or frustrated. Molly emphasizes hard work and communication when we are on the court. She makes sure everyone is on the same page on defense, and she pushes other players to make the extra effort when they are on the floor,” said Hardy.
McGrath added, “Molly brings optimism to the team. She makes sure each of us is ready for the team and gives us motivation to play every time we step on the floor. Her passion for the game rubs off on all of us. Molly makes sure to keep each of our heads up even during a tough game. She helps us see the bigger picture and keeps us focused on the present instead of the past.”
Specifically, Katarincic emphasizes to her teammates the importance of focusing on executing little aspects of the game correctly and staying positive during tough games, according to Claire Brady ’20.
“Molly is a very driven player. As a captain, she emphasizes the importance of executing the little things, like boxing out, making cuts… I think we all see her following through with those things on the court. She plays really great post defense and is great with defensive communication,” said Brady.
Katarincic also leads by example through her constant focus and hard work both on offense and defense, according Hardy.
Hardy said, “Molly is the type of player who focuses on the little things when she is on the court, and some of the things she does often go unnoticed. Molly dives on the floor for loose balls, and she crashes the offensive boards and fights for rebounds. She is able to switch the momentum of the game in our favor by doing the little things.”
Katarincic said that the leadership style of Co-Captain Janneke Evans ’18 complements her own intensity to create a balanced environment.
“Janneke and I were both fall captains, so we were able to take what we learned from that, apply it, and think about what we can do better. I think we balance each other out well because we both bring different things to the table. She brings a high level of intensity, and I can complement it with humor sometimes,” said Katarincic.
Katarincic describes her four years on Andover basketball as an ideal combination of fun and competition.
“One thing I love about the basketball team is that we have a ton of fun during our practices and on our bus rides, but we can also flip the switch and be serious when we need to. I think that is all you can ask for with high-school sports: something that gives you a good time but also is just a positive athletic experience. I just love the team so much, and I am really sad that it is ending,” said Katarincic.