Athlete Profile: Olivia Curley

Witt-Birn senior hoping to enjoy strong last season

WITTENBERG — The Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School girls basketball team entered the regular season with big goals and a roster full of talent. Senior Olivia Curley hopes to lead the team to those goals.

Curley is the team’s point guard. She primarily sets up her teammates, but can also connect from 3-point land and attack the defense off the dribble.

Curley opened the regular season with a 10-point effort in the team’s win over Peshtigo. She also tallied three assists and three steals in the contest.

Curley recorded five points, four assists and two steals in a win over Gillett before posting five points, three rebounds and two steals in a victory over Medford.

“She is our main guard right now,” said Witt-Birn coach Nick Mechelke of Curley. “She loves to pass the ball to her teammates. I hoping she is a big part of our nucleus this year. Her free throw percentage and her shot has improved greatly the last couple years.”

Q: When did your interest in basketball begin?

A: My interest started when I was in second grade, from going to basketball camps to watching my older brothers and sisters (several first cousins) play all the time. Everyone in my family played basketball; I just felt a connection to it every time I was around the game.

Q: What is your favorite part about the basketball season?

A: My favorite part of the season is when I get to run out and see my whole family in the stands. This is also when I get all my crazy nerves before the game. Plus, you know what song needs to be played before every game, “No Hands” (by Waka Flocka Flame).

Q: With the season just underway, how do you think the team has fared on the court so far?

A: We have been really good at passing the ball, either to the open girl or looking for our own shots. I think we have a well-rounded team with speed, height, strength and handling. Everyone contributes their strengths to the team which makes us successful.

Q: You are one of just two seniors on the team this winter. How do you plan to help lead your team?

A: I plan on contributing to my team by helping the underclassmen really step up their game and making sure they have all the tools they need for next season. Also, it’s important to make them feel comfortable around us so they know they can speak their minds when they need to.

Q: How did you prepare for the basketball season?

A: My basketball season has always been a (year) round sport. I did a lot of running though just to get my legs back and under me. I also worked huge on making sure my knee would be fully ready for the season (Curley tore her ACL and partially tore her meniscus as a sophomore).

Q: What’s your favorite memory of competing on the Wittenberg-Birnamwood girls basketball team?

A: My favorite memory would have to be when we lost last season to Little Chute. I had my career high in points, and it was a very good game. It was a tough game, but everyone on the team had a role to play, and they did as much as they could. We played our hearts out that night.

Q: What are you going to miss most about high school basketball?

A: I’m going to miss the crazy amount of support we get from the community and the people who come to watch us every game just to be there, even if they don’t have any relatives playing.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not in school or competing in a high school sport?

A: My favorite thing to do is honestly laying around and watching movies 24-7, and also spending time with my nieces and nephews.

Q: Favorite movies, musical artists?

A: Artist — J. Cole. Song — “Love Yourz.” Movie: “Bee Movie”

Q: Name one thing about yourself that not many people know.

A: Most people know I’m part of the Ho-Chunk Nation, but I am also half Navajo.

Q: What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been told?

A: When I was younger, my Kaka (grandmother, Georgiann Funmaker) would yell from the stands “haizo!” which means “take it easy” in our language.

Q: What are some things you hope to accomplish after graduating high school?

A: I just hope to succeed in college and really grow as a person. I want to show my family what I can do and make them proud.


Athlete: Olivia Curley

Sport: Girls Basketball

Position: Point guard

School: Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School

Year: Senior