Roddy embraces her role with Blue Demons
Maine East's Amanda Roddy (14) during their match at the Saint Viator snowflake Varsity Girls Basketball Tournament Thursday. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 4, 2013 6:48AM
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — At the midway point of the Maine East girls basketball summer camp, senior guard Amanda Roddy stopped coming to practice because she no longer felt needed.
After seeing her teammates win 10 of their last 11 games of the summer without her, Roddy felt insignificant and was leaning heavily toward not playing this season.
A conversation with Maine East coach Karol Hanusiak changed that.
“I just felt like they didn’t need me,” Roddy said. “But then I talked to Hanusiak and she really convinced me to come out and play. ... I thought about it and everyone has a role on the team and I guess my role isn’t main shooter or point guard. My role is just to be there for them and play as much as I can.”
Hanusiak’s conversation with Roddy, which took place in Maine East’s physical education office near the end of Roddy’s volleyball season, allowed the senior guard to be frank with Maine East’s coach and for Hanusiak to outline Roddy’s importance to the team.
The role Hanusiak laid out — to be a vocal leader in practice, provide on-court intelligence and help build team camaraderie — is more subtle than that of, say, junior playmaking point guard Jazlene Gonzalez, but Hanusiak said it’s been important this season.
Embracing that role, along with having a positive attitude, led to Roddy being named a co-captain.
“There’s a lot of things you can bring to the table,” Hanusiak said. “Sometimes, as high school kids, they don’t see that because, if they’re not playing, they think, ‘Well, why am I even bothering being here. If I’m not scoring 20 a night, I have no purpose on this team.’ We talked a lot about roles. She’s accepted her role and she’s really stepped up.
“She brings smarts on the floor and her attitude has been so good. One of the things I love is, whether she plays five minutes or a minute, when she comes out and we stand up (and) say, ‘Hey, nice minute,’ she smiles and says, ‘Thanks.’ I think, being away from it made her realize how much she enjoys it.”