For Andover Girls Basketball Co-Captain Hope Nardone ’23, basketball runs in the family. Nardone’s father, along with her two brothers all played basketball, and she eventually followed in their footsteps to become the basketball player she is now.
What made her stick with basketball all these years was its camaraderie combined with its competitive nature. Nardone feels that she can always improve on some aspect of her playing as well, and that’s what keeps basketball fun and interesting in her eyes.
She said, “You’re never finished with your development. Even though I’ve been playing basketball for years, I’m never really bored with it because there’s always more I can learn, more I can master, work on, and improve.”
As a leader, Nardone strives to create a competitive, but healthy team atmosphere by striking a balance between pushing her teammates and being understanding.
“I’ve been around the sport so much that I feel like I have a good sense of the balance between pushing people and also empathizing with them and being sympathetic,” said Nardone.
Valerie Ha ’24 testifies to Hope’s great leadership, whether it be in regards to basketball or just being a mentor on a personal level. Ha believes Nardone and her fellow Co-Captains bring out the best in herself all of the time.
Ha wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I think that Hope is an amazing captain. She is supportive, motivated, and determined. Hope is a leader on and off the court, she is always cheering and lifting our team up in practices and in games. I really look up to all three of our captains and they inspire me to practice and play my hardest every day.”
Nardone also strives to lead through example as well and highlights the importance of this kind of leadership with a younger team.
Nardone says, “I think our team is very special because we are very young. We only have four returners, and those four returners only had one previous season…With a lot of young girls on our team, I think it’s really important to lead through example because these girls are pretty young, and they’ve never had varsity high school basketball season before.”
Freshman Ava Davey ’25 acknowledges the infectious work ethic that Hope displays in team practices, the uplifting and exuberant spirit she gives off as well as her great skills that are crucial to the team’s success.
“Hope is a great team leader and is always so positive. She is kind, hardworking, and is an extremely strong player on the court. She is an amazing 3-point shooter and always knows how to bring the energy in team huddles,” Davey wrote in an email to The Phillipian.
Fellow Co-Captain Kiley Buckley ’23 also recognizes Nardone’s leadership approach as a role model, especially in how she conducts herself off the court as someone who is charismatic and understanding.
She said, “I think Hope is someone that is so easy to talk to. She’s so encouraging and always has a smile on her face,” Buckley comments, “She knows basketball so well, she plays all the time. If you need help on something or just want to play, I would go to Hope and I feel like a lot of other people would go to Hope as well. She’s just someone that’s a great person in general and she always says the right things at halftime or at the end of the game.”
Nardone feels that the team has improved greatly since the beginning of the season, and keeps looking to improve team chemistry and strengthen the skills and bond within the team
“We just got off two competitive, really exciting wins which feels great…I think they were two wins that we may not have necessarily won at the beginning of the season, so that goes to show how we’re improving,” said Nardone.
Editor’s Note: Hope Nardone ’23 is a News Associate for The Phillipian.