Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Sports Person of the Week

O’Donnell Stepping Up for Guilford This Winter


Faith O’Donnell is scoring an average of 10.3 points per game while leading the Guilford girls’ basketball team as a junior captain this winter. Photo courtesy of Faith O’Donnell

Faith O’Donnell is scoring an average of 10.3 points per game while leading the Guilford girls’ basketball team as a junior captain this winter. (Photo courtesy of Faith O’Donnell )

Faith O’Donnell has been a rock for the Guilford girls’ basketball squad during the 2021 season. Although the team has seen some struggles, Faith believes that better days are ahead for the Grizzlies in the near future.

Faith is a junior captain who plays the guard position for Guilford. The Grizzlies came into the season shorthanded after several athletes opted not to play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Faith thinks that Guilford has some solid players on its roster and feels happy to be competing alongside them this winter.

“We are currently a developing team,” says Faith. “We only recently just started playing basketball in February, and it’s challenging because of the masks, but it is worth wearing to continue playing our sport safely. For me personally, I miss having my parents and spectators in the crowd the most, but I’m thankful we can play our sport.”

Faith has been scoring her fair share of points for the Grizzlies in their last few games. On Feb. 24, Faith scored 24 points when Guilford took a 43-38 loss to Lyman Hall. Then on Feb. 26, she had 16 points in a 36-34 defeat against North Haven. With Guilford down by five with two minutes left in the game, Faith hit two big 3-pointers to give the Grizzlies a chance.

Head Coach Bernie Brennan praises Faith for her ability to hit clutch buckets in key situations. Brennen gives Faith credit for helping a young Grizzlies’ club find its identity this season.

“The team is young with only one senior and has been constantly improving, as evidenced by these two hard-fought games last week,” says Brennan. “Faith is one of the tri-captains and...really has come into her own and is really leading and producing for the team,” Brennan says. “I have seen her confidence grow as the season has gone on and expect her to keep getting better in the future. Faith wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and play basketball in college and has been working year-round to make this a reality.”

Faith is averaging 10.3 points per game for Guilford thus far this year. Faith credits her teammates for setting her up with great opportunities to score, and she’s certainly been capitalizing on those chances.

“My teammates put me in good positions to shoot and score,” Faith says. “I’ve been more aggressive, and my confidence is boosting. The coaches have also increased my confidence to shoot more and be more aggressive.”

Faith is thinking about taking her basketball game to the collegiate level after she graduates from Guilford. Faith is hoping to catch the attention of some college coaches through her performance with the Grizzlies.

“I’m looking at schools all over, but nothing really specific yet,” says Faith. “This season is very important, because I want to start to get in touch with college coaches to start showing them my film and how well I play.”

Faith hones her hoops skills by playing basketball on a year-round basis. Faith has been on the court since she was in kindergarten and is dedicated to improving her game every chance she gets.

“I fell in love with basketball as a collaborative team sport,” Faith says. “I work hard in practices and on my own. I try to give 100-percent effort at all times to the best of my abilities.”

In addition to playing basketball, Faith also coaches youth players at camps in Guilford. Off the court, Faith enjoys spending time with her friends and family, traveling, and going to the beach.

As for the rest of the winter campaign, Faith’s expectation is for the Grizzlies to motivate each other to play to their potential and finish the season strong.

“I want our team to continuously challenge and support each other,” says Faith. “I want us to especially have fun, strive for success, and grow as a team.”

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