BUCKHANNON — Welcome to the inaugural Buckhannon-Upshur “sport”-light story. This series of articles will go in-depth with one of B-U’s student athletes, allowing readers to get to know a little more about who athletically represents the community. This week, Lady Bucs senior guard, Olivia Ellis, took some time to give the community an inside look at her journey growing up in Upshur County sports.
Question 1-Can you describe your major sport highlights and achievements in the past?
“Winning the sectional championship and playing in the regional championship for basketball my junior year and the lifelong friendships I’ve made on the court and field. I played basketball all throughout high school and soccer until senior year. I’ve been a part of the YLA club, 4H, Teen Leaders and national honor society,” replied Ellis.
Question 2-Why are you so passionate about playing sports?
“I think for me personally, my passion didn’t just come when I started playing basketball in the first grade. Watching basketball with my dad, and knowing how much he loved the sport, played a key factor in developing my passion for basketball. Getting to high school basketball definitely amplified it, knowing that it’s bigger than just a game. I’ve been so lucky to play with amazing girls and have wonderful coaches that show the importance of playing for the name on the front of the jersey not the back and that drove my passion,” explained Ellis.
Question 3-What is your favorite sport?
“I would say, hands down, my favorite sport is basketball” exclaimed Ellis.
Question 4-How would your coaches and teammates describe you?
“I would like to think that my teammates and coaches would describe me as an optimistic, caring, and funny person,” replied Ellis.
Question 5-What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gained from a coach over the years playing sports?
“Coach Kittle, Coach Webb and Coach Chad all preach, “Do the little things right and you will win.” I think that many people overlook the importance of the little details in basketball, such as: setting a good screen for your teammate to get open, making the extra pass, or putting in a little extra effort to really sell a hard cut, but those unrecognized things make a difference in a game,” explained Ellis.
Question 6-How do you manage athletic responsibilities and outside recreational or non-recreational activities?
“It can definitely be a challenge to prioritize manage your time as a student-athlete. At the end of the day, school comes first. I’m very lucky that I have a few free blocks in my school schedule where I have time to complete my work, so I don’t stress as much about it, allowing me to focus more time and energy on the game of basketball. I also work at a company that’s very flexible with my basketball and school schedule which helps greatly,” said Ellis.
Question 7- What’s the biggest lesson you have learned while playing sports?
“I think one of the most important things I’ve learned from basketball, specifically, is not just how to win with dignity but how to lose with it as well. You can’t let a loss define you or consume you, you must accept it, learn from it and build on your mistakes. As athletes, the game has a way of making you realize that it’s okay if not every play or every game goes the way you want it to, which I view a larger life lesson. Not everything goes your way in life, but you have to make the best of every situation,” explained Ellis.
Question 8- What has representing Buckhannon-Upshur as a student-athlete meant to you? What’s your best memory?
“I think being a student athlete means holding yourself to a higher standard, in the classroom, on the court or field and even outside of school. I think one of my best memories would just be cheering on the football or boys basketball teams in the student section with my best friends,” reflected Ellis.
Question 9- Finally, are there any short-term goals you’d like to accomplish in the next few months to a couple of years? What about in the future 10 years or more down the road, where do you think you will end up? College plans?
“I think for basketball, the only goal is winning the state championship, it’s all about that, we can’t hold our expectations any lower. Short term goals for me would probably be just to keep good grades through my last semester of high school. Some examples of my long-term goals would be getting my MBA at WVU and eventually taking over my parent’s insurance agency. I plan to stay in Buckhannon for most of my life, but I think after college I’d like to move away for a couple years, possibly somewhere like Wilmington, North Carolina,” said Ellis.
Look for future editions of The Record Delta for future installments of Buckhannon-Upshur “Sport”-light!