This edition of Five Questions & Quick Hitters is with Callie Oakland, one of the top 2026s in Minnesota. Callie has varsity experience already at St Croix Lutheran High School & is a member of Minnesota Fury 2026 UAA. Thanks for your time Callie!
1. You were recently selected as one of the top performers at the Prep Girls Hoops Freshman Showcase. What were some of the things you were able to work on to help build your game, and what were some of your overall takeaways from the Showcase?
At the Showcase, I had the opportunity to handle the ball more than I usually do. I do work on my ballhandling, but I don't usually have the chance to run the offense. It was fun to bring the ball up the court and be able to initiate the offense. Along with the opportunity of bringing the ball up the floor, I was able to continue to improve on my rebounding and scoring in the paint. Overall, it was a great experience. My class has so many talented players. It was great to play with players that I had not played with before, and I had a great time competing against the best competition from across the state.
2. As an 8th grader, you were one of the top players at St Croix Lutheran last season, a year in which you went 25-3 before getting knocked out in the playoffs by Minnehaha Academy. With so much talent returning this year, what are some of your team goals for 2022-23 and what are some areas of your game you're hoping to build on from last year?
Looking back on last season, it was a fantastic experience to play with such great teammates. I learned so much from them on how to be a leader and how to compete at a high level. This year, our goal as a team is to build off of last year's success and make it to State. I know that it's not going to be an easy journey with the talent in our Section, but I have confidence in the work we have put in and the chemistry we have built.
Personally, I want to continue to develop my offensive game. I want to keep adding back-to-the-basket and face-up post moves, and I want to be a consistent 3-point threat. Improving my perimeter defense will also be a focus this year.
3. You are widely considered one of the top 2026 players in Minnesota. As you start to become more active on the recruiting front, what are some of the things you'll look for in a basketball program, and who are some of the individuals you feel you can talk to if you have questions about the process?
The most important thing I am looking for in a program is the culture. I have been blessed at St. Croix and at the Fury with teams that feel like a family. That will be what I am looking for in a college program. The quality of the education will also be a large part of the decision process.
I am surrounded by so many options. I have 2 incredible teammates, Zoey Washington and Laura Hauge, that have recently gone through the process. I also have Nick, Blake, and Maddie from the Fury program that have a lot of experience and knowledge to share. I also feel comfortable talking to Coach Mielke at St. Croix about anything, so I can go to him with this as well. (you could say he is my best friend.)
4. Minnesota Fury, your club team, is one of the most talented 2026 groups in the region. What were some of your favorite events from last season, and what are some things you're looking forward to the most in the upcoming 2023 club season?
I really enjoyed the UAA Sessions, especially the first session in Alabama. It was a great opportunity, and the amosphere at that facility was fantastic. I also enjoyed Mill City and the Meltdown. It was great to play against familiar teams in those events to test our growth as a team.
With everyone playing at the high school level, I am excited to see the growth and development of each of my teammates. It will be exciting to see how we can mesh together. I am also excited to play in the big events this year and to bond with my teammates.
5. I sometimes like to ask players this that have bible readings in their player profiles. On Twitter I see you have Isaiah 41:10 listed. What does this verse mean to you, and what role does your faith play in your life?
Isaiah 41:10 means to me, that no matter the obstacle, I am not alone. God is always there with me. I also know that in any situation, I don't have to be afraid. God is there to give me the strength to get through it. I know that earthly circumstances may cause hurt and worry, but I know to not be afraid as God has a plan for me.
My faith shapes who I am as a person. I am in no way perfect, but I have the assurance that Christ died for me and heaven is waiting for me. Because of that, I strive to live my life in a God-pleasing manner out of thankfulness for what He has done for me.
1. Biggest phobia: the dark, or grasshoppers
2. Favorite movie: High School Musical 2
3. Favorite pizza toppings: cheese
4. Person you text the most: my mom
5. Dream vacation: Bora Bora
6. Most annoying celebrity: Mariah Carey
7. Favorite visiting High School gym to play at: DeLaSalle
8. Favorite place you've ever traveled to for a basketball game or event: Alabama
9. Favorite Restaurant: Texas Roadhouse
10. Hidden talent: juggling