Athlete of the Month: Annie McQuilkin


Credit: Charlotte Thirman

Freshman Annie McQuilkin takes a foul shot at a girls varsity basketball game against Bedford. McQuilkin has been passionate about playing basketball since elementary school. “I started playing basketball in third grade, right off the bat, I just loved the sport,” McQuilkin said. “I was always practicing all the time.”

Freshman Annie McQuilkin has been in love with dribbling a basketball since she started her journey on the court in third grade. This year, she made the girls varsity basketball team as the sole freshman.

McQuilkin started on the Tri-Town basketball team before playing for in the MetroWest league, where she was on the A-team. Along with playing for the town, she was a part of two AAU basketball club teams.

“I started playing basketball in third grade,” McQuilkin said. “Right off the bat, I just loved the sport. I would practice all the time. My mom said I would always have a ball in my hands, dribbling through the house.”

In fourth grade, McQuilkin played for the Mass Huskies, and in fifth grade until eighth grade, she played for the Bay State Jaguars. Her club team traveled to many tournaments around the state and country.

“We were all really close,” McQuilkin said. “I was on a team that traveled a lot. Over the summer, we would have practices and then we would go to camps, and then weekends we would have tournaments, so we would spend most of the time together.”

The Jaguars team that McQuilkin played on had a very close bond. The team was able to form relationships during practices, workouts, tournaments and camps.

“We were really good, and it was a lot of fun being on that team,” McQuilkin said. “It was like a family environment.”

Throughout middle school, McQuilkin’s club team had a very successful season. It won at nationals and attended the Rose Classic tournament.

“We played a bunch of teams from all over the country, so that was really cool,” McQuilkin said. “I had to guard the best player in the country at the time.”

This year, there are two McQuilkins on the girls varsity basketball team: Annie and her sister, junior Alexina McQuilkin. Both grew up practicing basketball together, allowing them to have a special connection on the court.

“I’m really glad I get a chance to play with my sister,” McQuilkin said. “She’s always been more of a forward and I’ve always been more of a guard, so we just naturally work really well together. We always know where the other one is on the court and that’s really helpful and important. [A main part of] playing basketball is knowing where your teammates are so you can pass the ball or knowing when to set a screen.”

Along with being on the varsity basketball team, McQuilkin played on the girls varsity soccer team. She played goalie for the team, winning four awards by the end of the season including three “player of the game” awards. At the end-of-the-year banquet, she received the most improved player award.

“I’m grateful that I got the opportunity to play on both varsity soccer and varsity basketball teams,” McQuilkin said. “For soccer, towards the end of the season I started playing more and more, [and] I started playing entire games.”

McQuilkin is excited to prove herself on the basketball court and soccer field. After just her first varsity basketball game, girls varsity basketball coach Amanda Rukstalis presented her with the “player of the game” award. As McQuilkin looks forward to the rest of her first varsity season, she credits her past basketball experiences for getting her where she is today.

“I just loved [basketball],” McQuilkin said. “I loved being with the team, I loved practicing and going to games. I would look forward to them every night.”