Basketball seniors reflect on their careers at Loyola


Breyah Richardson goes up for a contested layup in the first game of the year against Tulane University Green Wave on Oct. 30, 2019. Tulane took the match, winning 61-38. Photo credit: Michael Bauer

Ben Roberts

After three years of buckets, rebounds and championships, seniors Paige Franckiewicz and Breyah Richardson are preparing for their final season wearing maroon and gold.

Franckiewicz, an accounting major from Slidell, has cemented herself in Loyola history.

Since her freshman year, Franckiewicz has set the bar high for the Wolf Pack. She has started in 90 out of 97 possible games, been named to the Southern States Atheletic Conference All-Academic team two years in a row and consistently leads the Pack in three-pointer and free-throw percentages.

Though Franckiewicz is proud of the stats, she is more proud of her team.

“I think I’m most grateful for the people around me that have been so supportive,” she said. “There’s few people who can say they’re lucky enough to have all of that, so I try not to take any of it for granted.”

Richardson, another SSAC All-Academic honoree for two straight years, echoed Franckiewicz’s sentiments.

“What I will miss most about playing is…the memories, bonds and friendships I have built throughout my four years here,” Richardson said.

Pressure is nothing new to Franckiewicz. Last season, she put up double-digit scores in 13 games, including a season-best 24 points against Middle Georgia State.

“I feel like I would before the opener of any other season: excited, hopeful and thankful,” said Franckiewicz.

Richardson has been named to multiple all-academic teams, including the Texas Girls Coaches Association and Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. Imagining a world without practice, games, and championships is difficult for any athlete, especially one with skill like Richardson’s.

“I have a bittersweet feeling about it,” said Richardson. “I’m looking forward to my life after basketball and graduation, but I know I will miss playing.”

Basketball has taught Richardson lessons that don’t involve shooting or breaking for points. Adaptability is important for athletes, and basketball is the perfect training ground that prepares players for life outside of the arena, said Richardson.

“As we face teams with various strengths and playing styles, we … adjust and implement different tactics,” said Richardson. “I have learned how to withstand and respond to challenges presented before me on and off the court.”

Ahead of their final season opener, Franckiewicz and Richardson look toward the future.

“Being on this team has given me a really strong sense of purpose that I’ll definitely be looking to fulfill after it’s all over,” said Franckiewicz.

On the other hand, Richardson’s mind is still on the game.

“I am looking forward to finishing out the year strong with my team and winning my fourth championship ring,” said Richardson.