CONWAY — One of the better players in the Summit Conference, Conway senior Olivia Dill is gearing up for a big senior season after putting together a strong junior campaign.
An athletic 5’9 forward, Dill nearly averaged a double-double last season as she averaged 12.2 points and 9.7 rebounds to lead a young Lady Bear team.
SWMOBasketball recently caught up with Dill and asked her about her senior season.
SWMO — How would you describe your game to people who haven’t seen you play?
Olivia — When I entered high school as a freshman, I had to play a lot of varsity because of our small team\lack of players. My skill was not up to par with most varsity teams at that age but it was my dad who told me that by playing hard I would be able to maintain a spot on the court. He heavily emphasized intense defense and rebounding. So in explaining my game to others I would say that it is strictly hard work throughout each game. Even now, I still focus mainly on my rebounding and defense as well as being able to score effectively.
SWMO — Tell us about your summer experience and how you grew as a player.
Olivia — I have played basketball year round since I was in seventh grade. This past year I joined a new team known as Yanders Law. In doing so, I got to travel to different states and play teams from everywhere, including one from Australia. This helped me grow as a player because I was exposed to a faster, more intense style of basketball. It was not something I was particularly used to, however I felt like it helped me gain a better mentality of the game and how to use each person’s reaction to my advantage.
SWMO — Tell about the upcoming high school season, a little about your team and expectations.
Olivia — This year’s team is going to have a whole different look then in years past. We recently got a new coach and are very excited about what he’s brought to the table so far. Being a young team, we have young girls who are being asked to play big parts. However, they are intently listening to what our coach is teaching and already you can see it starting to transform onto the court. Once we can all fully grasp the concepts being handed to us and be able to display them accurately, it’s going to be exciting!
SWMO — Who is the team or player that you look forward to playing this next season the most and why?
Olivia — One of my favorite games of the season is the game against Niangua. They are located less than 10 minutes from Conway and so we are very familiar with most of the players. We also recently started a traveling trophy with them in which the winner gets to keep it until the next time we play again. So far, Conway has kept it, but it’s always exciting to see who will take it each year.
SWMO — Who has been the biggest influence on your basketball career and tell us why?
Olivia — This will go straight to his head but the most influential person in my basketball career would be my dad. He was the one who initially taught me how to play and has always helped me whenever I needed it. This includes coming to the school before games to rebound while I got shots up, going outside during 30 degree weather to practice with me, and evaluating game film with me. I am extremely thankful for both of my parents and their devotion in making me the player I am today.
SWMO — Who do you enjoy watching play basketball (professional, college, whoever) and why? Have you been able to take anything they do well and implement it in your own game?
Olivia — I have never been someone who watches a lot of professional basketball. I do like to attend high school games though, and gain a lot of insight on the game through watching them. If I had to pick one person that I enjoy watching it would be my best friend and teammate, Maddie Archer. She has always been someone I looked up to when playing and I have always strived to be as good as a shooter as she is.
SWMO — What are some things in your game you are working on?
Olivia — I am working on being a more consistent outside shooter as well as enhancing my ball handling skills. In the book, I️ am considered a forward, but I️ want to be able to play all positions without obvious difficulty. I️ believe that there is always room for improvement and thus am always working on enhancing my rebounding abilities, post moves, and my overall game in general.