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CAMPUS ANGLE Q&A

Olivia Murphy has aced the boards on the court at UMass Boston

UMass-Boston

UMass-Boston senior center Olivia Murphy of Canton is third program history in points and rebounds.

Olivia Murphy is just the third player to pull down 1,000 career rebounds for the University of Massachusetts Boston women’s basketball program. The 6-foot senior from Canton reached the milestone with an 18-carom performance in a 1-point loss to Plymouth State last month.

Third in program history in rebounds (1,039), second in field goals, and third in points (1,438) and blocked shots (161), Murphy is currently averaging a team-best 16.8 points and 13.0 rebounds fo

UMass-Boston

Olivia Murphy: Program’s first WBCA All-American.

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r the Beacons (10-9).

“She is a special talent, an amazing spirit, a great teammate, and a 6-foot-2 athletic lefty competitor,” said Kristina Baugh, the Beacons’ interim women’s basketball coach.

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“With more minutes combined in her tenure then probably our entire team combined, I believe she brings a wealth of experience to our team and helps lead them through the good and bad times in practice as well as games.”

An exercise health science major, she was the Little East and ECAC Rookie of the Year as a freshman and the program’s first WBCA Division 3 All-American. Her sister, Julia, is a junior on UMB’s volleyball team.

Q. Who taught you to rebound?

A. When I was 8, I began playing basketball, but did not enjoy it because all I did was run and no one passed the ball to me. I told my father following my first game that I did not want to play anymore. But he said you need to get the rebounds, so that is where it came into play, realizing I needed to get the ball, I need to rebound. My father continues to remind me if I am struggling that my game is rebounding, so I just focus on that and everything else falls into place.

Q. How did that conversation with your father turn you into a rebounding machine, at both ends of the floor?

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A. Playing for my high school and AAU teams’ added fuel to my fire of wanting to rebound more and get the ball every time I was on offense or defense. I wanted others to notice that I work hard because rebounding to me is working hard. I wanted to make a difference on every team I competed for whether it be my high school or AAU teams.

Q. Best message or lesson you have learned from a coach or a mentor on basketball?

A. My current coach, Kristina Baugh, emphasizes a lot of effort and hard work on a given game day and practice, so I think that has inspired me to play my best . . . Giving it your all no matter if you make a mistake is important to me, so that is what she made me realize this season.

Q. Was reaching 1,000 rebounds a goal heading into your first season with the Beacons?

A. I did not reach 1,000 rebounds in high school — I came close, but did not reach the milestone . . . I initially thought reaching 1,000 points would be a great accomplishment, but I really wanted 1,000 rebounds — that was the goal, and I told my sister (Julia) and my dad that is my ultimate goal. When I was closing in on 1,000 rebounds, my sister, mother and father were all counting down and keeping me informed, but I did not want to think about it. Once I reached 1,000 rebounds there was a media timeout and that was when the public address announcer announced it. It was such a great moment and I felt finally I had accomplished my goal, and my parents and sister were there, and then coach (Baugh) told me she had never seen anyone get 1,000 rebounds. She said it took guts, but it was a really good feeling.

Q. Why exercise health science and what do you plan to do with your degree after graduation?

A. I was debating in my mind the question of should I pursue something in athletic training or physical therapy or strength and conditioning, but I knew I wanted to do something in sports. Despite being a tad bit unsure of my path beyond graduation, I am leaning toward athletic training and working with high school and college students. I am currently gaining more experience as an intern with Sports and Physical Therapy Associates.

Q. Your sister Julia is a junior on the UMass-Boston volleyball team. Did she play basketball with you growing up?

A. We played basketball together when we were younger, however, in high school she chose to play hockey, which we called our ‘little break’ from each other. We played volleyball and softball together, so we needed a little break because we were always together.

Q. UMass Boston is right next-door to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. What has wowed you about the museum?

A. I have only been to the library once due to my schedule with basketball, school and work, but my favorite artifact was President Kennedy’s boat, the Victura, which is stationed outside the museum.

Q. What’s the best place to eat near campus?

A. McKenna’s Café [on Savin Hill in Dorchester] It is a breakfast and lunch place – it is the best breakfast, seriously. Our team always gets breakfast from McKenna’s when we travel to away games. On game days, my go-to meal is their bacon, egg and cheese wrap, but if I were to eat there on a non-game day I would order their pancakes and home fries – their home fries are really good.

Q. What type of music do you listen to on a game day?

A. I am listening to the Taylor Swift Pandora channel. I like to be relaxed on a game day, so I like songs that have a slow melody, which keeps me calm and composed before a game.

MATT NOONAN

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