By Avonlea Cummings
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Kate Olenik, senior captain on the Medfield Warriors girls’ basketball team, has been playing basketball her whole life. Every shot, pass, slip, practice, and game of her four-year varsity career had led up to something she had been working towards her whole basketball career: 1000 points.
Last Tuesday evening, the Medfield Warriors traveled to Holliston High School; this might have been one of Olenik’s biggest games yet. During the matchup, she earned 1000 career points as she made a layup with the crowd roaring with excitement. She was quickly embraced by all of her teammates on the court.
“It was so surreal. As a freshman, I didn’t think I would ever get the 1000 points. When I did, all my friends were there and my teammates were so supportive,” said Olenik.
Playing basketball since kindergarten, the courts have become a second home to Olenik throughout the years. When she isn’t playing with her school, you can find her playing on club teams.
Her true inspiration behind the devotion has been the support of her family; having had her father as one of her coaches and encouraging her as she grew into the sport was influential in many ways, as well.
One of Olenik’s favorite parts of playing basketball is the atmosphere and the energy in a big game. As a player, you’re filled up with excitement and nerves during warmups as you’re about to give your all — and once you start making baskets, the whole crowd goes wild.
“The rush you get when you or your teammate makes a basket, you hear the loud noise from the audience in the gym, it’s such an awesome atmosphere,” said Olenik.
Medfield’s head coach Mark Nickerson has been coaching Kate on the varsity team ever since she was a freshman.
“She was a great player when she came in as a freshman, but she has gotten a lot stronger and more confident throughout the years. She’s now become the center of our team,” said Nickerson.
Thrilled to have helped Olenik reach 1000 points, Nickerson believes that she deserves this achievement. He praises her dedication to the sport, and her status as a role model to the underclassmen; Olenik has become a backbone to the Warriors.
“As a player, she is dynamic. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think of her as a player. She can handle, can shoot from long range, gets to the rims, plays good defense, she makes a lot of things happen on both ends of the court. She’s certainly one of the best players I’ve ever coached, and one of the best players to be in the league,” said Nickerson.
Being on varsity all four years of high school, Olenik has gained a lot of experience competing at such a high level.
“As a leader, she’s a great role model for everyone else. The underclassmen look up to her for great reason. She works hard. She’s always spending extra time in the gym. She loves the game and only wants to get better,” said Nickerson.
“My best advice is to stick with it, said Olenik. “There are so many amazing things that come out of basketball, there are many lows and many highs — but it’s all rewarding in the end.”