As we continue with our alumni spotlight project we turn our attention back to the hardwood and hear from 2011 women's basketball alumna, Annie O'Donnell. Annie talks about her journey to Dickinson and that the most important and memorable aspect of her time in the Red was the relationships and friendships she was able to make during her four years.
Annie was born and raised in Fairfield, Connecticut and attended Fairfield Ludlowe High School where she excelled in soccer, basketball and lacrosse. "I was equally passionate about all of them," Annie said. "So it was definitely challenging thinking about what I wanted in college, if I wanted to keep playing sports and what sport I wanted to keep playing." As she reflected and thought about it Annie realized that basketball had always had a special place in her heart because of her teammates and experiences, which made the decision a little easier for her.
As soon as Annie stepped foot on the campus she was immediately hooked. "It was a beautiful 70-degree spring day where everyone is out on campus," Annie recalled. "I immediately fell in love with the school."
Annie didn't just want to be a student-athlete, she wanted to embrace everything that was Dickinson, including the study abroad program. "I was able to talk to my coach about it early in my career and it was something we were able to make happen," Annie said. It is such a unique experience and something that Annie encourages others to do and shares that, "it's something you will never regret doing."
On the court the theme remained the same for Annie. It was all about the relationships she wanted to form with her teammates. "Our coach always reminded us that there are no scholarships a Division III," Annie said. "We were all here because we wanted to be here and play basketball." The shared experiences with her teammates from the highest of highs after a win or lowest of lows after a tough day in practice or a loss, Annie believes that those moments cultivated a bond that can truly never be broken.
Now in her post graduate career, Annie believes it is important to give back and help this next generation of student-athletes find their path after Dickinson. "The alumni network helped me find my first job after senior year, which helped launch my career to where it is now," Annie said. "When you hear of someone going to Dickinson it grabs your attention because it is such a small close-knit community. So for me, because I reached out to alumni to help me get my first job, I want to make sure I am doing the same for other people."
When looking back at her career, both as a basketball player and student-athlete, Annie stated that while studying abroad is great and now seeing the global impact Dickinson has, it will always be about the relationships she was able to build during her four years. "The friendships that I made and cultivated at Dickinson will be friends that will last for life."
Follow the link below to watch Annie's full interview with Assistant Athletic Director of Marketing & Administration Justin Farrell.