Athlete of the Issue: Calie Messina


Credit to Calie Messina

The crowd goes silent in anticipation. A cavernous gym echoes the rhythmic dribbles of the ball. The glistening acrylic hardwood floor thuds with every step. Then, the shot—then-freshman Calie Messina releases the ball with only seven seconds left. With an arc that seems to defy the laws of physics…swoosh! In the last seconds of the game, Calie Messina managed to win not only the game for Groton, but the entire 2019 Championship. 

Now, as captain, Calie Messina reflects on her time in the basketball program and the outlook for this upcoming season.


What prompted you to first join the basketball program here at Groton?

My coach came to watch me play at a tournament when I was in 7th grade and asked if I was interested in going to prep school. Before this, I had never heard of any prep schools, and not even the town of Groton despite living in Mass, but my parents and I decided to look into it. After seeing the team play a couple of times, I knew that it was a program that I wanted to be a part of, and I thought it would be beneficial to join for recruiting in the future. The environment and culture was clearly so different (and better!) than any basketball team I had ever experienced before. 


What is your most memorable Groton basketball moment? 

My most memorable basketball moment is going backcourt in the final seconds of the NEPSAC Class B championship my freshman year. After just hitting the shot to put us in the lead, I stole the ball with seconds left and ran backcourt in celebration instead of shooting my breakaway layup. It was incredibly embarrassing and, as my English teacher told me after March break, also “beautifully human.” I like to think I’ve finally gotten over the trauma of that moment. And at least we still won the game.


What important lessons have you learned from basketball?  

How to be a leader and how to be a good teammate. Being the starting point guard since freshman year, I had to learn to be loud and assertive on the court. Sports in general, but particularly the leadership role that I had at Groton from such an early age, I believe have shaped me into the confident, independent, and driven person that I am today. Basketball has also given me an outlet when I am stressed from school. I love to go and shoot by myself to put my schoolwork in the back of my mind for a couple of hours. 


What is one game or basketball moment that is particularly special to you? 

 Like my most memorable moment, winning the championship in 2019 is a game that I will never forget. Our team was the 5th seed (out of 8) going into that game, and we faced Lawrence Academy (the 2 seed) in the finals. We were the underdog in the entire tournament, and it was the greatest feeling to come out on top after a hard-fought battle.