Andover Girls Basketball Co-Captain Kiley Buckley ’23 began playing basketball in kindergarten and has continued the sport due to her love for its community. An integral part of a team that lacks Senior leadership, Buckley has helped make up for the lack of more experienced players through her infectious positivity and unparalleled dedication to the team.
“I think especially at Andover, my favorite aspect is my teammates. The girls I played with in my [Junior] year, just maintaining that bond, but also playing with some of the Lowers and [Juniors] that just joined the team is really nice,” Buckley said.
According to Buckley and teammate Leila Boech-Powers ’24, what makes Buckey’s leadership stand out is her constant encouragement to teammates.
“At practices especially, [I think that] being the one that’s clapping and cheering everyone on is pretty important… On the court, in practice, or in games, just always hustling and talking and communicating on defense and offense is what I try to do. Off the court, I try to do just little things like if you see your teammates outside, just talk to them and say hi, just being encouraging and friendly,” Buckley said.
Boech-Powers added, “Kiley is super encouraging whether it be during practice or during a game. If people are upset about a play they did poorly or just missed a basket, she’s always like ‘Come on guys, it’s okay, let’s just get back to it.’ She’s a very encouraging and optimistic leader… Off the court, [Kiley’s] always cheering on people and encouraging people to just keep going and do better. On the court, it’s the same thing. During practice, she’s always the first person to be like ‘good job.’ If you see her walking from class to class, she always says hi and she’s really nice.”
According to Buckley and Co-Captain Hope Nardone ’23, the balance between their different leadership styles and that of Co-Captain Kennedy Herndon ’23 strengthens the team.
Buckley said, “I feel like with Hope and Kennedy, it’s a really good co-captainship. The three of us are really good friends. Being loud at practice and encouraging everyone at practice and at games, giving people advice is what I try to do. [I], Hope, and Kennedy have different aspects [that we bring to the team] which makes it a good co-captainship.”
Nardone added, “I love Kylie and Kennedy; I think they’re great. They contribute so, so much to the team in different ways which [are] super important. I think we all have a really healthy relationship with each other. As some of the only returners, I think we have a pretty important role in leading the rest of the team and setting an example of what a good team should be.”
Editor’s Note: Hope Nardone ’23 is a News Associate for The Phillipian.