Winnetka, Sports

Athlete of the Week: 10 questions with KJ Saccaro, New Trier basketball

KJ Saccaro is a senior point guard and three-year starter for the Trevians. She recorded 16 points, 5 assists and 6 steals in a recent win over Fenwick. Saccaro will attend Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine) next year.

1. Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?

Yes. I have a lot of small things that I do. Every game day I always have a lemon-lime Liquid IV during the day. During the national anthem, I do this square breathing thing my mom taught me to keep me focused. I have a handshake with one of my teammate before tip-off. I put nine ice cubes in my water bottle before the game and leave it in the locker room for halftime. I tighten my ponytail before I shoot free throws. And some other little things.

2. Why Bowdoin?

I felt an immediate connection with the coaches, even when they were first reaching out. They had super personal responses like they really wanted to get to know me in the recruiting process. I got to meet some players and they were the nicest, most hardworking people I’ve met. I knew I wanted to go to a high academic school. … And all the girls on the team had a good balance with school, basketball and a social life with friend. And it’s pretty. Maine, by the coast. It’s near my cousins out on the East Coast, so I’ll always have family at my games.

3. What is your favorite thing to do off the court?

I really like to hang with my friends and I like baking and cooking a lot. I do that with friends and my mom and brothers. I really like going to yoga. I started to do that last couple years. It helps me to have other hobbies besides basketball.

4. If you could play another sport, what would it be?

I’ve always wanted to play lacrosse. It seems super fast paced. I used to pay soccer and there is like one goal per game, but lacrosse has so many goals. It’s very different from basketball. It uses some of same footwork but it’s very different. I always get jealous with all the lacrosse girls outside in the summer when I have to go inside.

5. Do you have a favorite athlete?

Not necessarily. I obviously I love watching Caitlin Clark (University of Iowa) play basketball. I’m super excited to watch her play at Northwestern. She has really changed the game for girls.

6. What is your dream job?

I feel like I’d probably want to do something related to business. It seems interesting to me. I could see myself doing something with sports broadcasting. I took a broadcasting class at New Trier and feel that it would be really fun.

7. What is your favorite sports moment so far?

I would say it’s definitely beating Evanston at Northwestern last year. That was a crazy game. It was so much fun. It was a doubleheader with the boys and there were so many people there.

8. If you are in Walgreens with a couple bucks, what are you buying?

Every time I got into Walgreens, I buy a pack of Extra peppermint flavor gum with 35 sticks in the pack. Definitely that. And probably a sour candy, like Trolli or Airheads Extreme.

9. What is something people don’t know about you?

One thing a lot of people don’t know is I used to live in Switzerland. I was born in Chicago and just after moved there and came back when I was like 4. I spoke both English and Swiss German — but I don’t anymore. That’s something people don’t know.

10. What excites you about this year’s team?

We have a lot of senior leadership. We have five senior starters. Every one on the team and especially the seniors do a good job setting an example, especially in practice, getting up extra shots. … The past few years we haven’t been super successful in the playoffs. Our goal this year is to win a regional. For us wining a regional would be everything. We have worked so hard. When we work together, we are capable of anything and winning a regional would be the best and anything after that would be cool.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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