Q&A with Meadowdale girls basketball player Camryn Cassidy

Camryn Cassidy takes part in a girls basketball practice Nov. 19 at Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Camryn Cassidy takes part in a girls basketball practice Nov. 19 at Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Whether she’s on the soccer field or basketball court, Meadowdale senior Camryn Cassidy focuses her efforts on preventing her opponents from scoring.

“She’s our defensive stopper, and she’s also the goalkeeper on the soccer team, so she has a defensive mindset,” Mavericks girls basketball coach Arie Mahler said. “She’s extremely athletic, has a long wingspan and good lateral and straight-line quickness. She’s a team player and respected by her peers and teammates.”

Cassidy, who played for the Seattle United and Washington Rush club soccer teams when she was younger, earned All-Wesco 3A second-team honors this fall, several months after undergoing knee surgery.

The Herald recently spoke to Cassidy about soccer, basketball, her future plans and more:

How did you become a good defender in basketball?

When I was younger, I had an eye tracking issue which allowed me to lose sight of who (I was defending). Once I got that fixed, I worked harder to become a good defender. My shot is not always the best, so I know I can make up for that by (excelling) on defense. I like to irritate the other team a little bit. I’m quick and have long strides, and I get in front of people pretty easy.

What do you enjoy about soccer?

I love the feeling of being on a big team and having constant support whether I’m feeling bad or not, and watching my (teammates) improve over the course of the season. And, of course, I love making amazing saves.

How’s your knee?

It’s basically 100 percent. This past summer I was diagnosed with a partially torn meniscus. I had surgery July 2, and I was told that I’d be out six months to a year. When I heard that, I started crying. I thought I was going to miss my entire senior year (of sports). But about three months after the surgery I was told I was healing a lot faster than anticipated and I was cleared for the start of soccer season.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome to succeed in athletics?

I had a mental block sophomore year of basketball. I remember going home and being super upset and bummed out because I wasn’t doing well and not getting a lot of minutes. I was crying and complaining to my dad. But last year, (my mindset was), “I have to have fun. That’s all I’m here for. I’m not here to get mad at myself. I’m here to play the sport I love.” My dad helped me to focus on those things.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I applied to Western Washington University. I’m thinking about studying pre-law or kinesiology. I’ve taken (several) psychology classes and I’ve become interested in studying how the mind works. That’s gotten me thinking about criminal law or sports law. As for kinesiology, if I choose not to play sports (in the future), I like the idea of still being around them.

Do you have any hobbies or other interests?

I’ve taken some photo classes, which I’ve enjoyed. I take photos of whatever inspires me, or things I find interesting. I take a lot of pictures of my sister and friends — portraits and landscapes, mostly.

How would you describe your personality?

I can tend to be quiet when I first meet people, but I open up after a while. I’m not too bubbly, though. I like having fun with my friends, and I laugh a lot. That’s become part of my personality since middle school. “Outgoing” would be the best way to describe it.

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