‘Good Hope is one big family’: Desire Odachowski remembers her Raider years

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Good Hope’s Desire Odachowski. (Martha Needham/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. — In this interview, I talked to former Good Hope basketball player Desire Odachowski. Desire made a long list of great memories on and off the court in her time at Good Hope.

“My favorite basketball memory has to be when we won the county championship. With our opponent being West Point, it just made it even better. There were two other seniors on the team that I’ve been best friends with for years. We talked about winning this the whole year and with it being our last year, we knew we had to win,” Odachowski said. “My favorite high school memory has to be just being with everyone every day. I always felt like in our class, everyone was close with each other. We had different friend groups, but it didn’t matter who you were. Everyone talked to one another. That’s what I liked most about our class.”

Desire feels blessed to have been part of back-to-back appearances in the Elite Eight and feels lucky to have played for and learned from two amazing coaches.

“Making it to the Elite Eight back-to-back was very exciting. Just being able to make it this far was awesome. My junior year, I thought to myself, ‘We still have next year.’ Despite falling short this year, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything,” Odachowski said. “Coach (Justin) Aby and coach (Natasha) Holder were great coaches. Just about every practice, coach Aby would say, ‘I’m not going to keep you long today.’ We would all look around and smile because we all knew it was going to be a two-hour practice.”

She added,

“They were both fun to be around. Not only were they great coaches, they were good role models. They taught us things that were bigger than basketball. They made sure we had a relationship with God because without Him, we wouldn’t have the ability to play the sport we love. They taught us lessons about life, and they made us better people off the court. I am very thankful for them.”

Desire learned a lot about more than basketball during her time at Good Hope and feels very blessed to be a Raider.

“I’ve been at Good Hope since kindergarten. This school is very special to me, and it has definitely made a huge impact on my life. I have made some life-long friends that I’ve had since primary school. Throughout all these years, there’s been so much support,” she said. “What I’ve learned at Good Hope is there’s always someone you can rely on, whether that be a friend or a teacher. Everyone pushes you to be the best you can be. I hope the relationships I have with people last a lifetime. Good Hope is one big family.”

Desire will deeply miss being with the Lady Raiders this season and will also miss being a leader to the younger players on the team.

“What I will miss is walking down the hall every day and seeing everyone. I will definitely miss basketball. There’s never been a time where I wasn’t playing basketball. Everything has always been planned around it. It has already felt different. I still can’t believe it’s all over,” she said. “I think that every senior has that role of being a leader. They may not think they were being looked at, but they all were. It’s important to do the right thing, even when people aren’t looking. You should always treat people with respect and just be nice to people because you don’t know what’s going on in their life. You always want to be that person that others can look up to.”

She added,

“The advice I would give to the upcoming freshmen is take in every single moment. Don’t take it for granted. These are some of the best years of your life, so make the best out of them. Cherish all the memories and friendships you make. It goes by quicker than you can ever imagine. Go to everything, never give up, and try new things. Make as many memories as you can and have fun. Don’t blink; it will be over before you know it.”

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