Mustang Minute: Amanda Lovely From Cal Poly Women's Basketball
Cal Poly women’s basketball senior forward Amanda Lovely and the Mustangs play at UC Davis at 7 p.m. Wednesday, before returning home to host Senior Day in Mott Athletics Center vs. Cal State Fullerton at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 1.
Amanda has played in 55 games over the past two years, with career totals of 512 points and 488 rebounds while also making the Big West Conference All-Academic Team as a psychology major from Palo Alto.
GoPoly.com: What’s been your favorite memory as a Cal Poly student-athlete?
Amanda: In the summer of 2015, the team took a trip to Costa Rica where we played three local teams, enjoyed the beautiful outdoors (zip lining, snorkeling, and river rafting), played with children at a local after-school program, and embraced the Pura Vida culture.
It was such an amazing bonding experience for our team and made me feel very grateful for all of the traveling opportunities I have experienced through basketball.
GoPoly.com: Why did you choose psychology as a major, and what are your career plans?
Amanda: I’ve always been interested in the inner workings of human relationships and behavior. I like to think of myself as a helper and definitely wanted to be in a field of study related to helping people.
I have been interested in many different career paths but most recently have considered going on to become a nurse sometime in the future. As for now I want to take a break from school and do some fun traveling!
GoPoly.com: How do you balance being a student and athlete at Cal Poly?
Amanda: In both academics and athletics, Cal Poly has a very high standard for excellence, which can make the load difficult to manage at times. I have not always been the best at balancing both school work and basketball but I’ve worked hard at prioritizing my responsibilities to make sure I maximize my time off the court to get school work done.
Since this lifestyle can be very exhausting, rest and relaxation is a huge part of the formula for success. I always leave plenty of space in my schedule for naptime throughout the week.
GoPoly.com: What have been your favorite classes at Cal Poly, and how would you describe the university’s Learn by Doing approach with regard to your experience majoring in psychology?
Amanda: Cal Poly’s Psychology Department has a tremendous faculty that have all inspired me in one way or another to continue in the field of helping. Each course has an experiential learning experience that embodies the Learn by Doing philosophy to the fullest.
The Helping Relationship class [PSY 323] with Elizabeth Barrett gave me the opportunity to learn basic-level counseling skills and put them to use through counseling sessions with Cal Poly students seeking help on mid-level life stressors. Professor Barrett was able to mentor the students in the class and oversee our progress as we grew more confident in our helping skills.
GoPoly.com: You’re 15-for-18 on free throws this year and the team as a whole is on pace to break the all-time school record for free-throw shooting percentage in a season, ranking No. 25 nationally (.758). What advice would you give to young basketball players on the keys to making free throws?
Amanda: The free throw line is a perfect place to take a deep breath. No matter the score, take your time at the free throw line and have confidence. Everyone should come up with a free throw routine that works for them and stick to that every single time at the line.
No one is guarding you so this is a perfect opportunity to remember your shooting fundamentals and regain composure.
GoPoly.com: You have almost 500 career rebounds, and have had five games in the past two seasons with at least 10 rebounds. If you were coaching younger players, what would you tell them are the keys to being a successful rebounder?
Amanda: Rebounding is all about heart. I have seen players who may not be the tallest or strongest player who come up with the most rebounds. I just try to tell myself that the ball is mine and I don’t care if I have to run someone over to get it; I’m going to get it.
GoPoly.com: You’ve played for Greece’s Youth National Team in the past. What was the experience like? How did it add to who you are as a person & player, do you have dual citizenship, and is it something you might try again?
Amanda: In the summer of 2012 after getting my dual citizenship, I was selected to play for the U18 Greek National Team. The experience was one that I am so grateful for and will never forget.
My mom is a first-generation American and her father immigrated to the United States from Greece. My grandfather passed away before I really got the chance to know him so it was so special for me to honor him by playing for his home country.
Most of my learning experiences had nothing to do with basketball and everything to do with me growing as a young adult. I learned both how to be independent but also how important my family is to me and to not take them for granted. I would go back to Greece in a heartbeat but probably just to visit family and spend time on the beautiful beaches.