Sammy Opichka Breaks 1000-Point Mark in Scoring


Elaine Chosa, Staff Writer, Journalism I

Senior basketball player Sammy Opichka recently broke the 1000-point mark for scoring, reflecting her athletic excellence in the game over her four years at NDA. 

Opichka began playing basketball at the young age of six, participating in both school and AAU basketball. 

“From a young age, I have always loved playing basketball… it has always been a big part of my life,” said Opichka. 

Opichka started her freshman year on varsity with older sister Lizzie, who served as an inspiration to Sammy along with her dad who coached her school and Future Tritons teams through elementary and middle school. 

Opichka’s recent accomplishment of reaching the 1000-point score mark was not so much a direct goal for her but more of “a reward of working hard and winning games alongside [her] teammates.” 

Assistant Varsity Coach Eliza Campbell, who is on the NDA point leaderboard herself, believes that reaching the 1000-point mark is not an accomplishment that happens overnight.  

“It requires excellence for a long time. It highlights a career rather than one game or one season,” said Campbell.

Athletic Director Matt Koenig described Opichka as “the epitome of a student-athlete” and said she’d finish her career as “second leading all-time scorer behind Allie LeClaire.”

Opichka credits her success to practicing daily and “having amazing coaches and teammates pushing me to be my best.”

The 17-year-old says she is very close with her teammates, especially her fellow seniors Georgia Gregorie, Charley Apple and Faith Barington, all of whom she has played with since 4th grade. 

One of the things that makes Opichka stand out as a player is her versatility in the game. 

“She can play all positions, shoot the 3, score inside, has a mid-range game, rebounds, passes and defends. She can do it all,” said Varsity Head Coach Sara Rohde. 

The pandemic has made changes to the traditional winter sport routine, having players wear masks at all times, not allowing student spectators, and live streaming the games for families to watch at home. 

Despite the changes to the sports, Opichka is still on her game and is “so thankful that we are even getting a season right now.”

As a stand-out player, Opichka has been the subject of recruiting for multiple universities, and recently committed to The University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, which will go D1 in July 2021. 

Opichka said she ultimately decided on St. Thomas because it “checked off all my boxes… I know that it is a perfect fit for me, not just for basketball, but for my education as well.”