After starting her basketball career in middle school, Andover Girls Basketball Co-Captain Claire Brady ’20 made the Varsity team at Andover her Junior Year. Brady started playing the sport after being introduced to it through her gym teacher who hosted basketball clinics after school. After gaining exposure to the sport, Brady began playing on a competitive Amateur Athletic Union team before arriving to Andover.
According to Co-Captain Hannah McGrath ’20 and Head Coach Liz Monroe, most of Brady’s skills revolve around her ability to increase communication on the court, during practices and games.
“Claire always gets us hyped up and makes sure that we are talking, because she is very vocal on court like on defense. She brings a positive energy to the team, but she is also able to calm each of us down on the court,” said McGrath.
Monroe wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Claire is a solid, steady, and mature presence on the court. She is our best communicator and boxes out on every play.”
According to Brady, bringing a high level of energy is a goal she set for herself in the beginning of the season.
Brady said, “I’m not as skilled of a basketball player, but I try and make up for it in other ways by being really loud and supportive, especially when we’re on the court. Off the court, just being super loud when I’m on the bench, and just making sure we have really good bench energy so that people who are playing feel like they’re really supported all of the time.”
Alanna Olsen ’23 said, “Claire is a really great defensive player and she’s also really loud. She is always giving good advice and being encouraging. She also brings a lot of energy. We’re already doing really well together as a team but I hope that we continue to grow in that aspect and just be the best team that we can be.”
In addition to leading the team vocally, Brady holds a work ethic that other players try to emulate, according to Niya Harris ’21 and Monroe.
Harris said, “Claire brings consistency and true hard work. She definitely embodies the saying ‘leading by example’ in a lot of ways, because I think she is always the hardest working and is always the best defender on the court. She makes sure to talk with us while on the court and makes sure to watch out for us. She also tries to emphasize and follow everything the coaches tell us, and you can always count on her to do her job and do it 100 percent.”
Monroe added, “[Brady] is always working to get better—for example, she always takes free throws before she gets water during breaks in practice… She is incredibly kind and thoughtful to her teammates but will firmly hold them accountable when needed.”
Although Brady started out as a power post and shooting guard at the beginning of her Andover career, she has now transitioned into a stronger defensive player, according to Brady.
“On the court, I would say that I am stronger with defense. I don’t have a lot of offensive skills but I try to make up for it by trying really hard on defense because I know that’s something I can control,” said Brady.
McGrath and Brady work together to help the team compete at a high level through their compatible relationship, according to McGrath.
McGrath said, “Claire and I balance each other out perfectly. For example, I’ll forget to do something, and she will remember and have it done. Just on and off the court, during games, we always think the same things and are very compatible in that as captains.”
Brady and McGrath look to build off of the team’s current 6-7 record.