Article courtesy Emma Lucas, Trine University, Professional Writing and English Studies, '19
ANGOLA, Ind.-- For Alivia Recker, the decision to play the sport of basketball was an easy one. With a mother that played college basketball and three siblings, what better way than basketball to spend time with her family and to occupy her childhood, high school days, and college years?
"Basketball is how my family grew up," Recker said. "It's something that we grouped around. We have always had sports in our lives." There is no doubt about it: the Recker quadruplets have basketball in their blood.
Recker recalls time spent at her grandparents' house as a child playing games of 21, Horse, or three-on-three. With three siblings the same age, she never found herself without a buddy to shoot around with. The Recker women were in regular attendance of the Ohio State High School girls' basketball championship, ever since Alivia was in second grade.
Recker reminisced about an incident that occurred when she was in the sixth grade, when she and her siblings missed a science trip due to basketball practice. When asked by the teacher if she would prefer observing the stars through a telescope than dribbling a basketball around, she had no response other than, "No. Basketball is my life."
The Recker children competed on AAU basketball teams for as long as they were eligible, usually coached by their parents. The time spent driving every weekend to tournaments was family time spent bonding, which, to Alivia, was one of the best parts of playing AAU ball.
When the quadruplets, Alivia, Anessa, Amelia, and Thayne reached high school, Recker says their immediate focus was on making it to the state championship every year. She had no idea how hard that goal actually would be to reach.
When asked what winning that state title felt like and what it meant to her, Recker responded, "The closeness with my sister helped to form a leadership that led our team to the championship. It was an amazing experience to finally reach that goal."
Following her state title, which she had worked for her entire life, Recker found herself faced with a question: was college basketball next?
Three of the four Recker siblings found themselves signing with different universities to play hoops for the next four years. Alivia found her fit with Trine, while sister Amelia signed with Huntington University and brother Thayne signed with Bluffton University. Their mother, father, and grandparents then decided their strategy to support all the kids, and found themselves playing man-to-man for the next four years. The grandparents would attend Thayne's games, and mom and dad would each go to Alivia or Amelia's game.
It is obvious in talking to Recker that basketball is nothing less than a way of life. "Basketball is everything," Recker saidl "It's been something that I've used to relieve stress, it's been something that was just always there. It has never let me down."
Recker, the lone four-year senior on Trine Women's basketball team, is pushing toward the MIAA tournament and has one thing on her mind: going to the NCAA tournament. She is leading her team to win every game for the rest of regular season to guarantee them a spot in the MIAA tournament.
The Trine women's basketball team is in third place in the conference; the top four teams make the tournament. Recker plays at a forward position, but was at a guard position her freshman and sophomore year, which exemplifies her tremendous amount of versatility as a player.
This season she has averaged 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, with a career average of 6.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. The impact Recker makes on the floor and for her team is unfathomable; her leadership and selfless attitude on the basketball court will be missed.
With close relationships with her teammates, Recker has thrived as a tremendously selfless and versatile player for head coach Ryan Gould, who labels her as the "ultimate team player."
Coach Gould boasts of Recker's positive example, adaptability, coachability, and leadership role for the team. He says, "Alivia has always been open and willing to do whatever is best for the team."
Watch highlights of Alivia Recker below.
Recker still finds time to support her siblings while in season. Because her sister's season starts early, Recker can attend those games, and she always finds time to stream her brother's games online. She is always receiving and sending encouragement to her siblings.
With graduation closing in, Recker says she has had several interviews and job offers, but hasn't decided on one as of yet. She was recently accepted to graduate school at Ohio University, and her plan is to earn her master's degree online while working a full-time job.
Trine's Senior Day is taking place on Saturday, February 20, in Hershey Hall, where the women will compete against Alma College at 1:00 pm. Alivia Recker will be honored, along with her teammate Whitney Shaffer, before the game commences. A win on Saturday will guarantee Trine a number 3 seed in the MIAA tournament.