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The Courier

College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

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Athlete of the Week: Savannah Anderson

An exclusive interview with Savannah Anderson whose performance on the women’s basketball team earned her a spot for Athlete of the Week.
Photo provided by COD Athletics

Name: Savannah Anderson

Sport: Basketball

Position: Forward/Center

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Romeoville

High School: Romeoville High School


LG: When did you start playing basketball?

SA: When I was in kindergarten, I played in my local rec league. My parents would scuffle all of us kids to the rec league every Saturday. We did that until we grew out of it. It was our running joke that the rec center was where we lived because if it wasn’t basketball season, it was baseball or t-ball or softball. 


LG: You played softball last year for Joliet Junior College and helped them win the 2023 D3 Championship, right? Will you play softball here at COD too?

SA: Yes, and I cannot. Unfortunately, I did use my two years of eligibility for JuCo [Joliet Junior College]. However, I have been in contact with Coach Barry, the head softball coach, and I am looking to help manage the team. So I can still be around softball. I love it, and I still want to play for a four-year college. So although I’m not playing, I think it will be good to get involved with the program here and stay in touch with softball because I want to continue that as long as I can. And, I get to practice, so it’s a win-win for me!


LG: What commitment does being a multi-sport athlete take?

SA: I was a multiple sport athlete my whole life, actually. I played three in high school. It takes a lot of dedication and discipline, mostly because it gets to the point where you’re mentally tired and physically tired all at the same time. And you just think, “I can’t do it anymore” or “I can’t today; I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I just need that extra ten minutes of sleep.” But you don’t have ten minutes. You’ve just got to live off of what you want. There were times that I felt like I just couldn’t go, but I’ve got my mom who always said, “Nope, you’ve got to. Too bad, so sad.” You’ve just gotta keep going, even when you think you can’t. You’ve got to do it as best you can that day. Even if you don’t have a hundred percent, give a hundred percent of what you have. So, that’s what I’ve learned over these years. And, it’s very important to take care of your body. Good habits – eating well, sleeping well (which I struggle with a lot), and taking care of yourself mentally. You need to make sure you love the people around you and make sure they’re a good support system. Don’t have anyone around who is not going to impact you positively. It takes a lot of discipline and dedication for sure.


LG: What motivates you?

SA: That’s a great question. I don’t know, I just want to see what my potential is. I don’t think I’ve hit my peak yet in any of the sports that I’ve played. I’ve gotten close, where I’m like, “Yeah, this has got to be my peak.” And then I’m like, “Wait, no it’s not. I’m still getting there.” I took a year off of basketball, so this is my year getting back into it. I’ve just dipped my feet in the water to see what I can do, and I feel like I can do so much more. I think honestly what motivates me is to see what I can accomplish. Especially with grades. I was awful academically in elementary school, middle school and high school. I feel like part of that is because that’s what I was told. I was never as smart as my brother because we think differently. In middle school and high school, I was just skating by. I thought, “I’m just not smart. It is what it is. It’s out of my control.” Same thing with college. I just wasn’t very good at school, I thought. Until I came here to COD, and I really pushed as hard as I could to increase my grades and do what I needed to do to continue to play. It just really showed that I was capable of doing it. It may be harder. It might take longer, and it may be absolutely horrible to do, because I don’t like doing it. But I know I can do it. And I just want to see my potential. I think that’s what motivates me – to see how far I can get.


LG: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from a coach?

SA: Oh, I’ve had tons of coaches in my life. But I would say Coach Matt, who I played softball with. He told me, “Don’t slow down.” He said that my brain works a million miles per hour, which he’s not wrong. He’s very right. He said that my body can keep up with it and I should just play. He said, “When you slow down, you think, and that’s when you start making mistakes.” He said that because softball comes so naturally to me, I can do it at a hundred miles per hour and that’s fine. I’ve had a lot of coaches who told me I needed to slow down and that I’m anxious. But I’m not anxious. I just know that I can do it, and I can do it really fast. If I did it the way they told me and slowed down and did the mechanics of everything, I wouldn’t do as well. Coach Matt explained that my brain works really fast, and I move and talk at a hundred miles per hour, and I shouldn’t slow down because someone tells me to. I should keep up with what I can keep up with. That made me realize I don’t have to slow down, I just have to be patient but still move fast.


LG: What have you learned about teamwork from your experience in basketball?

SA: Teamwork truly, truly has one of the biggest impacts on a team and their record. How a team plays and how much they love basketball matters. I unfortunately didn’t have a great team at my first college and it showed. I didn’t want to go to practice, and I love practice. Sometimes I love practice more than games. I didn’t look forward to any part of it. It truly impacted how we played. Here at COD, I have a much better relationship with my team, and we have a better relationship with each other. There are games where we are just so in sync, having a great time and so hyped up, and we just come together and dominate. I just hope that we continue to do that with every game instead of certain games. Teamwork has the biggest impact on a team. Teams that win championships versus teams that don’t – you have to look at their teamwork and their chemistry. Because it doesn’t just start on the court, it’s off the court as well.


LG: What’s your favorite part about COD?

SA: I would have to say my favorite part of COD is the environment. Everyone is friendly and inviting. They’re welcoming and warm. It’s not weird for me to say hello to someone even if I don’t know them. In the lobby [of the PEC] all of the athletes are co-mingling. Different teams are talking. A lot of different teams are supporting each other. At my last college, you didn’t see that. Girls and boys would stay in their locker rooms and you only came out to use the microwave or talk to your coach. The lobby area wasn’t really used. There was tension between teams, which was really weird. I remember playing basketball against COD and seeing the COD men’s basketball team sitting behind the women’s team cheering them on. And I thought, that’s a team I want to be a part of. 


LG: Is that how you decided to transfer to COD?

AS: I never thought I was going to transfer. I had a tough time with basketball, but I was obviously having a great time with softball. I actually came here because of Coach Tally. She was my high school coach. I was very confident in her. She’s very tough, and she doesn’t let mediocrity slide. I knew I needed that push, and I know that she believes in me. I almost came before, but I decided to stay at JJC to play one more year of softball because I had built that relationship with my teammates and my coach. Which ended up great because we went to the World Series. When I came to COD to play for Coach Tally I’d actually forgotten that this was the team that I’d seen and thought was so cool.


LG: So do you just have this one year left to play basketball at COD? Do you hope to play both basketball and softball at a four-year college?

SA: Yes. I plan to play both. I am looking for colleges that will let me play both. 


LG: Are you majoring in something sports-related?

SA: In a way. I chose kinesiology. I do want to be a coach, or maybe an athletic trainer one day or a personal trainer of some sort. My biggest thing about taking kinesiology is because I’m very intrigued about how the body works and how exercise, diet and foods affect our bodies as athletes. I feel like it’s beneficial for every athlete to know how the human body works because you’re using your body because of your sport. Learning how carbohydrates process in your body to help you fuel for a game the next day is very important. I really enjoyed the class and decided to major in it.   


LG: What is your favorite food?

SA: I joke around and always tell people that food is my love language. So, if you want the key to my heart, just make me food, buy me food, give me food. I don’t know if I have a favorite. It depends on the day. I really do like Mexican food a lot, and I like a lot of meats. I love eating.


LG: Where do you see yourself in five years?

SA: I’ve always hated that question, but I think I can finally answer it confidently. I am looking to pursue a professional softball career after I graduate. I always knew I could do it, but I didn’t want to because there’s not enough money in it. Softball players don’t get paid much. But I love softball and I’m great at it. And I’d be getting paid more money to play softball than I ever have before, because I’ve never been paid to play. It’s something I love and I hope I can make an impact.


LG: What one word best describes you?

SA: Scattered. I’m always in two places at once. I’m grounds crew for a baseball league. I’m also the sponsorship director for that league, as well as the CPC commissioner. So I oversee three divisions, and I’m always at meetings with them. I’m always on the ground crew. I’m always playing a sport. I’m always with school. So I’m everywhere and scattered.


LG: Thank you very much, Savannah!

SA: Thank you so much. This was wonderful.

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