Olivia Pedigo - Texas Nomination by Jackson Pedigo Photography by Gypsy Road Photography Issue 44 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Olivia (Liv) Pedigo is my big sister and an inspiring teen. She is an athletic junior and a college basketball prospect that spends all her time on the basketball court until she tore her ACL during her 1st club tournament back last summer during COVID-19. She has fought her way back after missing her whole school season and even while she was recovering from her surgery, she was donating her time to help others in youth organizations. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the pain of having to not do what she loves, a surgery and rehab- she still has a sense of humor, a 4.0 and manages to make me want to be more like her.
Photography by Gypsy Road Photography
What would you most like to be interviewed about? Overcoming hardship and adversity
What do you want us to know about hardships and adversity and how you overcame them? I’ve learned that without hardship and adversity, there’s no way to improve. Challenges help us to get better and every day we should all be working to be better than we were the day before. Patient endurance is one of my new favorite virtues.
Tell us about your basketball career. When did you start and what do you love so much about the game? I started playing basketball when I was 10. I started just wanting to be like my mom who played in college and coached. I didn’t have the easiest going of junior high years and basketball became a place of expression. I was addicted to the game but it wasn’t until I tore my ACL last year and fought my way back that I realized how much I really loved it.
What is a favorite memory and/or accomplishment from basketball? I have so many good memories but my favorites come from the long road trips that I have with my mom to and from practices and tournaments.
What injuries have you had, how did they affect your game, and what was your recovery like? My ACL injury last summer was devastating. After missing the first half of club season due to a confusing year with COVID-19, I was so excited to get back on the floor and compete. The very first game back, I tore it in the first 45 seconds. I missed my junior school season. The hardest part of dealing with injury when you are a full-time student athlete is the mental aspect. Physically, it hurt but being forced to sit and not help my team or compete was transforming. As heartbreaking as it was, I’ve become so much better all around as a person and athlete. I want it more than anyone else because I know what it’s like to live without it.
Photography by Gypsy Road Photography
What youth organizations do you volunteer with? Tell us about them and your roles within them. My mom spent several years as a youth basketball coordinator and club coach. I have helped coach and work with kids from Kindergarten to 8th grade. I spent my elementary and middle school years volunteering by operating a scoreboard or keep stats every weekend at youth games as well as helping with practices during the week.
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? I’m only as inspiring as my Lord and savior and parents have inspired me to try to be. If I’m in any way a reflection of them then I’m doing a good job. However, other than basketball, I also have high aspirations of going to state this year in track for shotput after only 7 months post- op. I am also a varsity cheerleader, have a 4.0, compete in UIL and a member of the National Beta Club.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? Focus on you. Being a teen in 2021 is hard. There’s so many pressures and a lot of teens don’t have good guidance. Concentrate on bettering yourself and keeping your eyes on the goals that you set after high school. Keep improving yourself and moving forward no matter what obstacles you face. Hardwork is the only way to self-improvement. Everything I have and accomplished has been because of my work ethic.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans? Five years from now, I plan on being in my junior or senior basketball season in college and preparing to graduate and apply for law school.
What is your favorite activity or pastime that was not in your nomination? As busy as I am, my favorite thing to do is sleep.
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? I can make a really good and annoying dolphin sound. I also love to write.
3 Things on your bucket list 1- Be in a magazine. 2- Spend a month exploring Hawaii 3- Live on Magazine Street in New Orleans
Who do you find inspiring? Kobe Bryant. He did so much for women’s sports in general but gave so much to the women’s basketball community.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us? I don’t think about being inspiring as much as I just try to always do what I feel is right and do my best at everything I do. I don’t worry about what others think about me. I think that’s one of the biggest battles that teens face. Everyone is so concerned about how they look and what people think of them. I focus on myself and always try to do the right thing and give a voice to things that I don’t feel are right. At the end of the day, it’s me that has to look in the mirror and be comfortable with and proud of what I see.
Look for Olivia in issue 44 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!