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Student-Athlete of the Week: Bitzy Archibald

 

January 18, 2019

Jocelyn Rowley

Student-Athlete of the Week: Bitzy Archibald

It would be easier to list the team sports that Niwot power forward Bitzy Archibald hasn’t tried at some point in her life, but the senior said she’s really a “pretty big nerd” at heart.

“I think people picture a jock, but I’m always reading in the locker room,” she said. Archibald is a fan of sci-fi and thrillers, and recently completed “We Know It Was You” by Maggie Thrash. “I get a lot of jokes about that from the team.”

What isn’t getting any jokes is Archibald’s play on the basketball court over the last several games. Since returning from the holiday break, she has scored more than half of her 24 points on the year, including a career-high eight against Northridge on Jan. 8. She has also been one of the Cougars’ leading rebounders as of late, with 18 in her last three games.

This has not gone unnoticed by head coach Terri Ward, who praised the senior as a “smart player” coming into the season.

“She’s got that mentality of a post player, and if she were five-foot-seven or five-foot-eight, then she would be unstoppable,” Ward said. “She knows she’s not a ball-handler and she knows she’s not a guard, and so her job is to go in and she’s been getting some offensive rebounds and scoring and putting some balls back in and doing great things like that.

“And she’s been playing really well on defense” the coach added.

Archibald said she considers defense one of her strengths on the court, and that too has been evident as of late, with five steals over the last three games.

“Getting a steal is really fun, knowing that you predicted the opponent’s movements and outsmarted them.”

Archibald took up basketball at age 10, and found her way onto a Niwot Youth Sports team with fellow varsity players Brynn Beaton and Elise Crall, whose dad Brett was the coach. Unlike other the other team sports she tried, basketball stuck with Archibald.

“I’ve played volleyball, track, soccer, softball, hockey, and gymnastics, but basketball is one of my favorites. I like the running part of it and I like how it’s more of a team sport because you have to really rely on your teammates and trust them or else nothing works.”

Her teammates are also a key part of her favorite Niwot basketball memory.

Jocelyn Rowley

Senior Bitzy Archibald has 10 points, 18 rebounds, and five steals over her last three games.

“We have practice over Thanksgiving break and on Wednesday we have a ‘Win a Thanksgiving dinner’ practice with all these little competitions among the team,” she said. “Whoever wins gets either a pie, a bag of potatoes, or a turkey to take home. It’s really fun.”

When she’s not on the court, Archibald is active in the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes, as well as a youth group at her church. In the classroom, Archibald is focusing on AP science classes during her senior year, in anticipation of a future career in nursing.

As for her post-graduation plans, Archibald is currently deciding between Creighton University and Gonzaga, and hopes to make a final choice after campus visits to each later this month. Either way, the Longmont-native said she is looking forward to a new adventure.

“My family’s pretty big in Colorado, so it will be weird not being with them all the time, but I think it will be a good learning experience.”

 

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