Jessica Bard: My team is family

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The second of two profiles on senior women’s basketball players.

College athletics is an incredible experience that cannot be compared to other college activities and clubs. Being part of a team through good and bad in the stretch of four years is something you will never forget. The feeling of walking out on the court and representing your school is tremendous. Jessica Bard knows what it means to be part of a team and she would not give it up for anything in the world. Many athletes would agree on the fact that a sports team is more than just a team.

“If I could describe my team in one word [it would be] family. I can’t imagine having a [closer] knit group of friends in my life. We all have really different personalities, but we all share a love for the game, a love for winning and a love for each other. Especially this past season, I feel like everyone was especially close,” said Bard.

Jessica Bard
(Photos courtesy of Suffolk Athletics)

“I have had some really high highs in my career and some really low lows in my career, but at the end of the day, it’s hard to remember wins and losses. All I remember is my teammates being there for each other through the good and the bad and cheering each other on.”

The senior forward/center has certainly enjoyed her career in which she played more than 50 games for the Lady Rams and always came up with important rebounds. In her sophomore year she scored a career-high 68 points. For Bard, fun and basketball has always walked hand in hand.

“I have had a lot of fun in college, but I definitely have some of my fondest memories with my basketball team. We spend so much time together. We start practices on Oct.15 and don’t finish the season until March, so most of my college experience was in the gym. But I wouldn’t change that for anything. My teammates are my best friends. I met my roommates on the basketball court and I consider them my sisters. I still keep in touch with the girls who no longer play for Suffolk, whether they transferred, stopped playing or graduated … I still keep in touch with all of them and that’s how I know we will all be life-long friends. I can picture some of them being in my wedding party one day!”

Bard started playing seriously on her eighth grade travel team. She believes her height had something to do with her choosing basketball. Even though practicing field hockey, lacrosse and other sports, Bard always loved basketball the most. She would have loved to go to the ECAC tournament at the end of the season, but in the end Suffolk simply did not get the bid. With graduation approaching, the senior knows what she wants to pursue in the future.

“Unfortunately, I am not going to continue to play basketball competitively after college, although I will join some recreational leagues. Instead, my plans are to continue to show my love for the game as I hope to become a sports reporter one day.”

Even though Bard will not pursue a career in basketball, she will still most likely be close to the court, close to the sport that has brought her so many wonderful memories. As a hopeful sports reporter she could be reunited with her favorite sport.

“It’s hard to choose one life lesson I took from playing a college sport because I learned so much! I learned that no matter what I am doing in life, to work hard to get a little bit better each day. The best competition I have is against myself to be the best person I possibly can be and never stop pushing myself.”