Sammy Opichka Motivated by Love of the Game


Skylar Schultz, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

For fans of NDA’s stellar girls basketball team, Sammy Opichka is not a new face. A varsity starter since her freshman year, Sammy has been making waves in the program for years now.

“I began playing basketball when I was in 2nd grade,” said Opichka. “It was easy then because it was just something fun to do after school most days.” A current junior, Sammy is still having fun, 10 seasons later.

My pure love for the game motivates me to keep playing,” Opichka said. “When I step on the court, it is like the rest of my life takes a pause, which is nice to have.” However, pauses like this are not free, especially at a college/academic-minded school like NDA.

“The key to that time management is sacrifice,” advised Opichka. “In high school, it is not easy to sacrifice the fun moments to finish a homework assignment because practice went late, but it is completely necessary and 100% worth it in the end.”

One potential source for Sammy’s outlook is her father, Peter Opichka.

“My greatest inspiration is my dad,” she credited. “He was my coach growing up and has always been my biggest supporter no matter what state I was in or what team I was playing on.”

Her dad’s commitment is especially impressive when one considers the sheer number of teams that Sammy plays on.

“I play volleyball alongside basketball in the spring,” she said. “After the school season is over, my AAU basketball season starts right after spring break so there is not much of a break.” Still, despite the endless hours away from home, playing and practicing, Sammy Opichka isn’t looking to quit. 

“I love it because we get to travel a lot, and meeting new girls from schools all over is very special.”

As for her current season, Opichka is rather optimistic. “I think that the rest of the season will play out very well,” she said. “I have so much confidence in our team, and I can’t wait to see where this year takes us.”