BY OLIVIA SKIBIEL | EDITORIAL INTERN

Olivia Skibiel is a junior at Jackson High School in Washington State. Olivia has been playing sports ever since she was 3 years old, including the game she fell in love with: basketball. In her lifetime, Olivia has played many different sports, including soccer, basketball, volleyball, softball and dance. At the high school level, she plays basketball and volleyball, where she has been on varsity for both sports, since freshman year. Setting her goals high and hoping to achieve her dreams, Olivia aspires to become a Division 1 athlete, and become a sports medicine doctor.

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My mom loves to send me inspiring quotes to motivate me to be my best. This is the exact picture she sent me during finals at school. This quote is important to me because whenever I feel like giving up, or something just isn’t worth the fight, this quote comes to mind, and keeps me moving forward, giving me courage to finish my task at hand.

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Although I no longer play soccer, there will always be a special place in my heart for the sport. Through the teams I was on, I made many lifelong friends and learned many valuable lessons learned. Leaving the sport was hard, but it was the right thing to do to help my development in basketball. My coach for the three years previous to when I stopped playing, was Dan Pingrey. Dan coached the Snohomish High School and Seattle Pacific University boys soccer teams. He knew how to push me until my breaking point, but he was also sort of a father figure to me; lessons like never assume something is happening and always communicate, learning how to adapt to and overcome adversity, and understand everybody grieves differently. I can honestly say that he made me the competitor I am today, and I am so thankful for the opportunity that I got to play for him.

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Basketball has brought me some of the best times in my life. Every team I have been on has really influenced my growing as a person and player, on and off the court.

This is my best friend Jaelen. We have been playing basketball together going on eight years. Every year we bond closer to each other, and push each other to our best; our chemistry on the court makes us a dynamic duo that can’t be stopped.

01.18.17 MT VERNON @ JACKSON GBB.DSW-[148]

I don’t know what I would be doing right now in my life if I had never started playing basketball at the YMCA, when I was just three years old. My parents have always left sports-related decisions up to me, and I always went back to playing basketball. From quitting soccer, softball and dance, I knew at a young age that I wanted to continue my career in basketball. A few years ago, talking with a couple former D1 basketball players, I knew I wanted to play basketball in college, at the most elite level. This has always been a dream of mine: to be a part of something much greater than yourself, and be surrounded by a team atmosphere. All in all, basketball really is what makes me happy, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

02.01.17 MARINER @ JACKSON GBB.DSW-[140]

“My Sports Journey in Photographs” was junior Olivia Skibiel‘s final project as an Editorial Intern at the Awesome Sports Project.

Click here to find out more about the internship program for high school girl athletes.