Athlete of the Issue: Kai Volcy


As a dual varsity athlete and captain, Kai Volcy is a dominant athletic force. After spending the fall season conditioning, Kai is in top shape during basketball and track seasons. As Kai has only been on the track team since her Fourth Form year, being elected to the position of captain for her Sixth Form season is no small feat. However, Kai’s career in basketball – her favorite of the two sports – began almost a decade ago. She leads her teams with a level head and and calculated movements, but she is driven by her competitive nature and constant desire to improve.

Kai’s basketball career initially began in grade school, but didn’t take off until middle school. Although she is a leader and great player now, Kai had a rocky start in basketball. She recalls gym classes, saying,“I do remember always dreading gym class basketball games in second and third grade. No one would ever pick me to play for them, and it got so bad that teams would run races and do push-up competitions, saying that whichever one lost would have to have me on their team.” While this early exposure to the sport could deter many from playing, Kai used it as motivation. Her persistence and growth in the sport are commendable. But she remains modest, saying, “Obviously it wasn’t great back then, but now I laugh about it a lot.” As a member of a group of girls with as much heart as Groton’s Girls Varsity Basketball team, Kai has much to be proud of and good reason to look back and laugh.

Although she was an amateur in grade school, Kai has come to love the competition in basketball, and sports as a whole. She uses the competitive nature of basketball as motivation and a means for success. On competition, she says, “Very rarely in everyday life do people get to publicly aim to beat someone else at anything without it being considered mean or looked down upon. But in the sports world, an openly competitive nature is a requirement.” On the court, Kai exceeds the requirement of competition; in a recent game, when an opponent attempted to take the ball from Kai, she shook the ball loose and the girl went flying. Competitors should fear her ambitious approach and relentless drive. While she is calm and friendly in her day-to-day life, she is a force to be reckoned with on the court.

Some athletes use music with fast tempos to get pumped up before games, but Kai prefers a more intellectual and meditative approach. Listening to calming music like Mr. Meeble’s ‘Every Thing is Good (part 2)’ “helps me think a lot more clearly during a game.” This tranquil pre-game method is coupled with a strategic game-plan. Kai notes that a lot of her motivation comes from the team and a desire to help the group succeed. As a team, the players aim to build each other up, thus it is easy for Kai to be her own worst critic. To combat this she sets “mini  goals … to make it through one more play, or to get one more rebound,” and eventually is able to do it consistently.” This allows her to come back from a deficit, or not get overconfident with a lead.

Truly a team player, Kai credits many of her own successes to her teammates. Reflecting how athletics have changed her Groton experience, Kai says, “If it weren’t for sports, I would’ve missed out on a lot of friendships here. Our basketball team is full of great girls, and we have a lot of fun…We definitely have a lot of personality on board, and it keeps things interesting.”  

The team, however, largely credits their captains. Co-captain Alyna Baharozian ‘18 says, “Kai is the best co-captain I could ask for. She is ferocious on the boards and always finds the open wing player for the outside shot. She is an amazing teammate.” Her coaches and teammates understand that Kai is someone they can rely on. Coach Stacey Spring remarks, “A tremendous athlete with a great court presence, Kai has grown so much as a player in the past two years, but more importantly, she has embraced the role of captain this year.  She is a leader on the court, and her teammates (and coaches) trust her judgment and sound leadership. This team is hoping to end her senior season with a playoff berth, which would be a testament to how much both Kai–and this team under her leadership–has developed over the past three or four years.”

Kai is a unique player with tremendous ability on the basketball court. She uses a rough start in athletics as motivation to constantly improve, she puts the good of the team above herself, and she leads by example. Don’t be fooled by the music that Kai plays before each game; her play is aggressive, strategic, and calculated. From not getting picked in gym class to captaining two varsity teams, Kai is a determined and skilled athlete who has had tremendous impact on Groton Girl’s Varsity Basketball throughout her four seasons on the team.