Girls basketball: She's the best - and much more

2013-02-01T00:00:00Z Girls basketball: She's the best - and much moreJason Harris Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 01, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Olivia Snyder has spent the last four years going around, over or through Southern Arizona defenses.

The 5-foot-6-inch senior guard from Green Fields Country Day even scored 40 points in a game last week, despite being seriously ill.

It's no wonder she's the state's leading scorer for the second straight year.

"I've been here 10 years. We've had a lot of good players here, but she's the best," Green Fields coach Tom Danehy said.

Snyder, a three-year starter, is averaging 30.2 points per game and is ranked second in the nation in free throws.

Clearly, Snyder can score. But here's a look at four things you might not know about her:

1. Never count her out. Determined is an understatement. Snyder played three games in three days - including the 40-point performance - with two ear infections and the flu.

She also averaged 30 points in two games the week before that with a 103-degree temperature.

"It's my senior year," Snyder said. "A week or two of feeling bad and pushing through it is worth it to go to state. I'll have plenty of time to recover after the season."

2. She was a quarterback first. Before basketball, Snyder was beating up on the boys in junior high flag football. Tired of volleyball, Snyder and a friend, Kya Coletta, begged their coach to let them join the middle school's football team.

After Danehy saw Snyder throw, he immediately inserted her into the starting lineup at quarterback and cornerback.

"We were 0-1-1 when they came out, and we didn't lose another game," said Danehy. "We won 12 straight; they were money."

3. She's there for a friend. Coletta, her best friend since the sixth grade, has been a large part of Snyder's record-setting success on the court. It was fitting, then, that Snyder helped Coletta get her own recognition during her 40-point game Jan. 22.

Coletta did break the record, finishing with 16 assists, one more than the 11-year-old record.

"I had no idea about the points," Snyder said, "I was just trying to help Kya break the assist record."

"It was really exciting when Coach told her she got 16. She was crying, her hand was shaking in the huddle."

4. She wants to do the same thing at a different school. An art scholarship covered Snyder's tuition for four years at Green Fields, and now basketball will pay her bills at Pima College.

"I just felt it was the best fit for me," Snyder said. "Being able to stay here, stay around my family and be able to play at a junior college first."

Snyder plans to work toward being a nurse after a mix of anatomy/physiology classes and being at the hospital for the birth of all three of her sister's children piqued her interest.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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