By Steve Robinson | March 8, 2020 - 10:40 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite

Normal Community West High School senior Olivia Demosthenes said keeping a sharp edge for competing in the Illinois High School Association COUNTRY Companies 3-Point Shootout competition started with being in the school gym every day taking practice shots. They don’t let fans in on the order for these competitions until you see the order listed in the program. I wonder if she was stunned to learn that she was to be the third shooter in the very first group of 4-eight person shooting groups for Class 4A when the competition began March 5 on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.

Since the Wildcats were eliminated from Class 4A competition in a Regional final by New Lenox-based Lincoln-Way West, Demosthenes was left with time to pursue going for the 3-point crown on her own and her team’s behalf. She said she practiced a couple times a day in the gym “just to get prepared, and shot with my coach” on the morning of the competition to top off her preparation. Her coach is Normal West head coach Corey Ostling.

Being in Redbird Arena to compete is a totally different experience for many of the high school kids who either take part in this competition or play one of the IHSA games that take place here. Coaches often contribute advice to their shooters to help them adjust to an arena where, among other things, there are people in seats behind the backboard where they are used to seeing a wall instead.

Demosthenes said advice she got from Ostling included “to stay loose and stay concentrated on what I am doing.” She then added her own perspective by saying, “Whatever happens happens.” She’s that kind of player. She’s that kind of kid.

And as she rounded the three stations of five balls to shoot each, Demosthenes looked as though she had heeded her coach’s advice, appearing calm and determined with every shot she took in the 45 seconds she had in which to make them. However, she tallied just 7 baskets

Demosthenes, daughter of Craig and Jennifer Reynolds, said making it to this event adds something to the final season she experienced in silver and black for the Wildcats.

She will be off to Olivet Nazarene University for college and is considering majoring in Sports Management. Her aspiration is “to move my way up to working for a company that offers products tailored or geared toward athletes.” She mentioned Nike as one place she would like to find her name on a business card. She said she’s looking forward to working her way up the corporate ladder at such a company.

And where the marketing aspect of what she wants to do in the future, Demosthenes smiled as she told me she could actually see her face on a box of shoes being sold by the company, whatever company she finds herself at. “I think that would be really cool,” she admits.

“I love watching Olivia play basketball, whether it’s shooting threes or playing in a game, I love watching her,” Ostling said.

Fans of the Wildcats have had their chance to see Demosthenes in action and now her time has come to let others see what she can do, even if it might not be on a basketball court. Will we see her face on a Nike or another company’s product someday? You never know, but you can bet, should that ever happen, around here, there would have to be a spike in sales, wouldn’t you think?

BHS’ Marley Davis Nets 6 Shots: In Class 3A, Marley Davis, a freshman from Bloomington High School, sank 6-of-15 shots during her turn in this competition.

The girls are done for another year, and the boys will be up next as the scene of the Illinois High School Association COUNTRY Companies 3-Point Shootout and IHSA State Boys Championships moves to Carver Arena in Peoria for the next two weekends. Here’s hoping our area sees some young men from area schools there, too.

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