This edition of Five Questions is with Katelyn Odem. Katelyn is a 5'8" 2024 from Homestead HS (WI) & Chapman Basketball Academy 2024. She is a scholarship talent coming off a strong club season. Thanks for your time Katelyn!
1) Having just completed your season with Chapman Basketball Academy 2024, what were some of your favorite games from this past season or favorite events you played in?
Looking back at our past tournaments, my favorite event had to be Run 4 Roses in Kentucky where we won the glass ball for our division. Despite having two separate injuries and playing with six in the championship, we were able to push through and come out on top. I think it showed how tough we were and was for sure a tournament to remember. I also really enjoyed the North Tartan Meltdown and the Nike Summer Finale playing against EYBL teams and top talent around us this summer. We were fortunate to play against teams from different states and see teams we don’t usually get to see. With that, we were able to learn and grow from tough losses. I think playing better competition allowed us to not only get better but also prepare us for the next level of basketball many of us are hoping to be apart of.
2) You've gotten offers to play at the college level. What are you going to be looking for in a school and a basketball program as you start to get closer to making your college decision?
Personally, the most important thing for me in my decision is going to be finding the school with the best fit. I want a school where I love the basketball program as well as the campus and atmosphere. Additionally, I think it’s crucial to choose a program where the coaching staff seems to value you and likes how you play. I’m looking for a place where I can grow and improve my game while pushing myself to be the best I can be. Lastly, I think having a good relationship with the coaches and building a bond with future teammates is extremely essential in my decision.
3) Homestead is coming off a great season, falling just 1 point shy in the Regional Final. You were an incredibly young team last season, what are you and your teammates focusing on this coming season to try and take that next step to the State Tournament?
This summer, many of my Homestead teammates were also on the Chapman team with me. I think this allowed us to continue to gel and create more chemistry that will help us play well together in the upcoming years. Specifically for next year, I think a big part in our success is using our strengths to our advantage. We’re not a tall and post-heavy team, but we’re fast and outwork teams with the things we can control. While being a smaller team, we’re working on getting stronger in the off-season and during the summer in the weight room. Hopefully our physicality and strength will allow us pu hustle to compete well with bigger sized players.
4) At some point you realized you would be able to pursue basketball and play in college. At what point in your career did you realize that you would be able to pursue that dream beyond the high school level?
Since i’ve been playing for more than half my life, it’s super rewarding to know all the work is paying off I have an opportunity to continue playing basketball at the next level. My parents, friends, and coaches were always supportive and encouraging in my journey and told me I could do it if I kept working. I think I realized I could play at the next level when I became a starter on my highschool team as a freshman. I knew that if my coach trusted me and believed in me, that other people would see something as well. After my freshman year, I pushed myself to get really good at the things I could control and became more confident in the way I play as a whole.
5) It's Game Day during the High School season. What are some of the things you're doing during the day and leading up to the game to get yourself mentally & physically prepared for the game?
At school on a gameday, I usually watch film in study hall as well as at lunch with the team to prepare us. After school, we always shoot around in the gym and go over plays. For away games we always listen to music on the bus to hype us up and get our energy going. Before most games I usually make tiktok’s with my teammates as well! We also listen to music in the locker room when we warm up and stretch. I think for me eating well, staying positive, and putting good thoughts in my head is super important in getting ready to compete.