Betsey Daly ’17 has put together an impressive career playing for St. Olaf women’s basketball, culminating in a record-breaking performance against Bethel on Jan. 25. Last season, Daly emerged as one of the MIAC’s top starters as a junior, leading the Oles with 320 points and 210 rebounds on her way to being named all-conference. As the only senior on the team this season, Daly has only improved in her veteran leadership role. Excelling in many categories, her rebounding talents in particular stand out, topping the MIAC with 232 while averaging 10.1 per contest. Against Bethel, she managed to break St. Olaf’s individual rebounding record with 684 throughout her career, besting Jennifer Ihde’s ’87 mark that stood for nearly three decades, cementing her legacy as one of St. Olaf’s premiere athletes throughout its rich history.
Q: What does it mean to you personally to have broken a rebounding record that stood for nearly 30 years?
A: I’m very humbled actually, and very surprised. I didn’t know I was even close, so when I saw the Ole Athletics of the Week webpage say I was only 6 rebounds away it was quite a shock. I’m very honored to have broken the record, and I’m very honored to be given this recognition.
Q: Since you’re a senior, looking back, what would you say is the highlight of your time with St. Olaf women’s basketball?
A: This season has definitely been the most memorable. In my past years, I just had to focus on playing the game I love and left the team dynamics to the seniors. Now all of a sudden I’m a senior, so I have to be the leader and sometimes that can be hard: having to be ‘the bad guy’ at times is never easy. However, this year has also been the most fun. The girls are truly the best group of girls I’ve ever played with, and I’ll be sad to see it go.
Q: What’s the biggest factor you would attribute to your successful career as an Ole athlete? What part of your game do you feel is the strongest?
A: I think I have a strong work ethic. It doesn’t matter if I’m happy or frustrated, I’ll always be in the gym lifting and running … another factor is simply that I love the game. My dad fostered that love by coaching my team from fifth to eighth grade, and he still rebounds for me at the local gym during breaks. He’s the major reason I’ve had this career – he’s never been interested in statistics or numbers, so I’ve learned from him to focus more on having fun rather than anything else. For the aspect of my game that’s the strongest, I would have to say my admiration for it. My heart, my intensity and my love for the game is what drives me to keep playing. Obviously it’s fun to make a lot of points, grab a bunch of rebounds, or make 10 steals in a game, but the numbers have never mattered to me… as long as I know I’m playing as hard as I can, I’ll be proud of myself.