c/o Steve McLaughlin

c/o Steve McLaughlin

In Play(er) of the Week, we seek to highlight Wesleyan athletes or parts of games that deserve extra attention. Olivia Quinn ’26 is a guard on the Wesleyan women’s basketball team. Quinn is off to an impressive start as she leads the team in points, rebounds, made field goals, and three-point percentage through the first three weeks of the season, just to name a few of her accomplishments. Her standout performance came against Clark University on Nov. 21 when she notched 22 points and 11 boards, helping the Cardinals to a 92–73 win. For her showing, Quinn was named to the week three New England Women’s Basketball Association (NEWBA) First Team. The Argus recently sat down with Quinn to talk about her love of basketball and her hopes for the season going forward.

The Argus: Can you introduce yourself?

Olivia Quinn: I’m an econ major, and I’m also double minoring in data analysis and history.

A: When did you first start playing basketball?

OQ: Probably around fourth grade.

A: What made you fall in love with the sport?

OQ: Just being on a team and being a part of a team. I just love the idea of competing for one thing with your teammates.

A: Yeah, definitely. At what point did you start considering playing basketball in college and realize that that was a real possibility?

OQ: Probably my freshman year of high school. I really got committed to trying to play basketball in college.

A: What was the process of looking for a college like, and how did you choose Wesleyan as the right place to continue your academic and athletic careers?

OQ: For AAU (Amateur Athletic Union), I went to a couple big tournaments where coaches were there watching and recruiting, and I connected with [Head Coach Kate] Mullen. And I came to campus and as soon as I got here, I knew I wanted to come.

A: What was it about the campus or the team that really kind of set it apart for you?

OQ: I kind of loved the idea of being on a college campus versus being at a city school, and then just the team. My teammates here are my best friends. So as soon as I met them, I knew that it would be the place for me.

A: So far, how has your experience been as a student athlete now that you’re a year and a half in?

OQ: It’s been great. I am so happy. I’m so glad I chose Wesleyan. And I have absolutely no complaints. I love it here.

A: What is your favorite Wesleyan basketball moment or game from your career so far?

OQ: Last year when we beat Amherst was definitely the best moment of the season, and our team hadn’t beat Amherst in like 15 years. So it was like a huge win for our team.

A: So now, going into this season, what are your hopes for yourself and for your teammates?

OQ: I mean, I have a lot of excitement going into the NESCAC season. I’m hoping we can win at least one more game than we did last season and make it to the playoffs.

A: Based on your hopes or what you thought going into the season, how would you say the team is performing so far?

OQ: We had a really tough game last Saturday against Amherst and unfortunately lost, but it showed how much potential we have going into the regular season.

A: Can you speak to the team chemistry and team bonding and how it’s helped you guys both on and off the court?

OQ: As I said, all my teammates are my best friends. For Thanksgiving we do a great Thanksgiving dinner and we always do little things like that. So I feel like that translates to the court. We’re always hanging out off the court. When we get on court we always have each other’s backs.

A: So you opened the season with a 67-point win over Rosemont College which is just amazing. So how was that game for you guys? And was it a confidence boost going into the season?

OQ: Definitely. That was a great game. Everyone contributed something good, something to help us get that win, so I think that was a great way to start the season.

A: And then a couple of games later, you had a great game against Clark, with 22 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double. And for that performance and a few others you were awarded the week three NEWBA First Team. So how did it feel to get that kind of recognition?

OQ: Yeah, it was definitely exciting. I was happy that we could get that win at Clark. As I always say, I can’t score unless people are getting stops on defense and passing the ball, so it’s really a team effort.

A: So you mentioned the Amherst game. But in that game, you guys were tied retired at half and then had small leads into the third quarter. And then, eventually, Amherst took it in the fourth quarter. So what do you think you can attribute that result to? And also is there an adjustment you see, that could help you guys hold on and win a tight game like that?

OQ: I think that that game really shows how much potential we have. And I think that how we’re gonna hold on to that lead in the future is by coming in practice and working hard doing what Coach is telling us, and staying focused. So we definitely can do it.

A: I know—again—it’s early in the season, but from these first few games, have you guys been able to identify any particular strengths that this team has?

OQ: I think we’re really good at sharing the ball and assisting each other. We’ve really honed in on our defense; I feel like our defense is much improved from last year. We’re really good at sharing the ball and making our teammates get good looks and defensively being really locked in on our principles this year.

A: That sounds like a lot to look forward to! Looking back, if you could give your first-year self some advice from what you’ve learned so far as a student athlete, what do you think it would be?

OQ: I would probably say it’s all gonna work out. I feel like that’s cliche, but for balancing classes and basketball and everything else—it’s just all gonna work out.

This article has been edited for length and clarity.

Ethan Lee can be reached at ejlee@wesleyan.edu

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