, Salem, MA

April 1, 2014

Peabody's Summit finds success coaching youth basketball

By Jean DePlacido

---- — Olivia Summit played a key role in the Peabody High girls' basketball and volleyball teams successful seasons, and also did a terrific job coaching youngsters in the Peabody Basketball Association.

Since she started coaching in the PBA as a sophomore she has taken three different teams to the championship. Two of those years fellow Tanner athlete Mikalah York, who plays lacrosse, has been her assistant. The PBA has practices once a week and games on weekends at the Kiley School in Peabody.

"It's a lot of fun, and I really enjoy it," said Summit, who will play basketball and study communications next year at Salem State University. "We do drills, but I also try to make it as enjoyable as I can for the kids so they will learn and do well."

The first year Summit volunteered her time to coach the 9-12-year old girls and took them to the championship. The following year she had the 9-10-year old boys, and they went all the way to win the championship. This season it was a new group of 9-10-year old boys, and surprise, surprise — they won it all again. York was her assistant two years ago and again this season.

"Mikalah is a really good assistant because she is so calm," said Summit. "It's quite a bit different working with the boys than with girls. The boys are a little crazier while the girls are quieter and ready to listen. I would tell the boys they'd have to run if they didn't do a drill the right way, but they really liked to run so that didn't work the same way it did with the girls.

"I never thought about it much before, but coaching could be something I do in the future. I used a couple of the same drills coach (Jane) Heil did, but simplified them. Her post drills were really good to use."

Last year Summit thought she had a strong team right from the start. This season she really wasn't sure, but her team continued to improve throughout the season and were ready once playoffs began.

"Last year I knew that my team was really good, but this year it didn't start out that way," said Summit. "They improved so much during the season, and then we won our first two playoff games. That was when I began to think we really had a shot at another championship."

The team was hot and kept on winning, ending the season as champs and with trophies to prove it.