Olivia Lane got herself on the Minnesota basketball radar as a sophomore when Pequot Lakes ran into the state tournament for the 4th time in 6 years. Her team was beaten by Roseau 78-65 and Olivia actually had a tough…
Olivia Lane got herself on the Minnesota basketball radar as a sophomore when Pequot Lakes ran into the state tournament for the 4th time in 6 years. Her team was beaten by Roseau 78-65 and Olivia actually had a tough day, scoring 5 points on 1-of-12 shooting. But, she proved herself to be a mobile 6-2 who attacked the rim with and without the ball, and she came away with 17 rebounds. The Patriots finished 26-3.
It was, unfortunately, a fairly typical state tournament experience for Pequot. Olivia’s sister Vanessa played in the 2011, 2012 and 2014 state tournaments and lost to the eventual state champion—Braham, Providence and New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva—each time. Carlie Wagner torched Pequot for 101 points in 2 state tournament games in 2012 and 2014. Vanessa scored 19 points with 10 rebounds in the 2014 game. In 2016 the Patriots lost again to an eventual state champion, it’s just that Roseau didn’t become champion until 2017.
Olivia had scored 13 ppg in that state tournament season, her sophomore year, then came back and scored 18 ppg with 13 rebounds last year. The Patriots lost point guard Haley Wieboldt from their 2016 section champions and went 17-8.
This past summer Olivia played for the Central Lakes Thunder, who won 4 games by an average of 61-35 to take 9th place in D2 in the AAU 2018 tournament. Olivia scored 55 points in 5 games, including a 1st round loss to Rise 11th 50-46.
Also this past summer Olivia announced that she will be playing college ball at the University of North Dakota after finishing her high school career in 2019. Let’s meet Olivia Lane.
When did you start playing basketball? Who got you started?
My parents started me in basketball in 2nd grade. My mom helped coach me one year in 3rd grade, then I was on another Pequot Lakes traveling team till 6th grade when my dad started to coach me in AAU basketball.
When did you first realize that you might be pretty good at it?
In 8th grade I got moved up to JV and varsity, and I started 5 games on varsity. My coaches thought I could play at a higher skill level at a younger age, and they really believed in me.
Tell me about your athletic family.
My older sister, Vanessa, scored more than 1,300 points in her high school basketball career. She was chosen all-Mid-State and Brainerd Dispatch Player of the Year in basketball. She also received an all-state award in basketball. In track Vanessa was a state champion in the 100m dash, 4 x 100, 4 x 200 and 4 x 400. She was a 7-time all-state recipient in track. She is currently a senior in college, running at the D1 level at South Dakota State. She has the school record in the heptathlon, 4 x 100 and 4 x 400. She received all-Summit League indoor and outdoor in track all 3 years.
My older brother Blake is a senior in high school, and he is a standout football player. Last year he received all-conference honorable mention. He starts at quarterback and middle linebacker and plans on playing college football. He also plays varsity basketball and is a great basketball player.
My younger sister Erika is a freshman in high school. She is a solid basketball player and track athlete. Erika has competed in many AAU and MYAS tournaments.
My younger brother Jacob is in 5th grade and plays basketball and football.
My parents were great athletes in high school. My dad played college football.
How do you describe your game? What are the things you do best to help your team win?
I am a very physical and aggressive player. I like to attack the rim, and I am quick on my feet. I also feel that I have a good basketball IQ. On defense, I rebound and I attack the ball. On offense, I rebound, I have some post-up moves, drive the lane and I am a good scorer.
What are you working on to get better at?
I am working on my outside game to develop more shooting range. I am also focusing on my dribble skills and foot quickness. I am working to improve my left side dribbling and left side post moves as well as post moves in general.
Tell me about your recruiting process and your commitment to UND.
Coach (Katelyn) Oney watched me at the NCAA Mill City Tournament and like my style of play. I scheduled an unofficial visit May 25 and spent the day touring campus and meeting with all the coaches. I will never forget when coach Brewster asked me, “Olivia, if you did not play basketball, could you see yourself being a student at UND?” The answer was, “Yes.” I absolutely love UND. The coaching staff are amazing and they made me feel like this was like home. They stressed how the players and coaches are like a family, they spend so much time together during the season and off season.
(Head) coach (Travis) Brewster is so committed to UND, he has been there for more than 14 years, and that made me feel confident that he will be coaching me in a couple of years. I enjoyed my talk with all the coaches, and they expressed how my style of play would complement their style of play.They play fast and, as coach Brewster said, you can’t teach aggressiveness. “We recruit speed and aggressiveness,” he said. They have a great tradition and a winning program because of the commitment from the coaches and players, and that was very impressive to me.
When we were driving home from our visit, my mom and dad asked, what are the negatives. I sat there for awhile and I could not think of any. It just felt right. I almost called the coach to verbally commit, but I thought I should wait because I was invited to their elite camp in June. This was a way I could meet the players and practice with the coaches. The camp was the icing on the cake for me. The whole experience was awesome and I felt like this could be my future home. After the camp was over, I went to coach Brewster and asked to talk to him. So I went up to his office and I verbally committed to play for the Fighting Hawks. I felt a sense of relief and excitement, knowing I am going to be a part of such a great organization. When I got home, I told my parents. We all had tears of joy, it’s a moment I will truly never forget.
What are your goals both personal and team this winter at Pequot Lakes.
My personal goals are to be an inside and outside threat. I want to be able to do anything I can to contribute to the team. I am hoping this year as a team that we improve on our weaknesses, and I am hoping we make it to the state tournament. I think we have a good shot because we have a young, fast, hardworking team.
What advice would you give younger girls who want to maximize their skills and opportunities?
My advice to younger girls is for them to go out, have fun and really enjoy playing the game. Once you build that passion for the game, you will develop that drive to be the best you can be. Always keep training, never give up on the dream of playing basketball at a higher level. It is all about your work ethic. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” Enjoy it and love the game. Basketball teaches us many life lessons, like how to be a leader, how to work, how to be a team player, and it teaches you how to lose before you win. All these lessons will help shape you into the person you want to be.