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The Maine event: Windsor’s Rockwood commits to women’s basketball powerhouse

  • Olivia Rockwood shoots around Ella Paquin during Windsor High School's girls varsity basketball game against Mount St. Joseph Academy in Windsor, Vt., on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. Windsor won, 68-27. (Valley News - Joseph Ressler) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Olivia Rockwood, third from left, celebrates scoring her 1000th point with, from left, Adi Prior (20) , Angelina Bigwood, and on the right Brooke McKeen, Ashely Grela, and other teammates, in Windsor, Vt., on Friday, Dec.14,2018.(Valley News-Rick Russell)Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Correspondent
Thursday, August 01, 2019

WINDSOR — In 1998 at the College of St Joseph in Rutland, Kabray Rockwood and Windsor’s Erin Farnsworth formed a relationship that would result in marriage.

Both Rockwood and Farnsworth had basketball as a prominent part of their lives. And 21 years later, basketball remains in the fabric of the family.

The union of Rockwood and Farnsworth resulted in the birth of Olivia Rockwood, the rising Windsor High senior who has been impressing many people for the past three years.

That includes the coaching staff at the University of Maine, where Rockwood recently accepted a full four-year athletic scholarship to join the Black Bears.

While Rockwood has dazzled during her high school career — “She’s the best player I’ve had in 25 years or so of coaching,” Windsor girls basketball coach Bruce Mackay said — her yearlong dedication to the sport is what perhaps made Maine a possibility.

“While (Vermont) Division III basketball at Windsor is nice, it was AAU basketball where she was recognized,” said Kabray Rockwood, who added that Olivia is on AAU teams in Burlington and Windsor and has already played in 46 games this summer.

“AAU basketball opened the door,” the elder Rockwood said.

Olivia is more than a basketball player who has already scored 1,404 points in high school. She also has been all-Marble Valley League in cross country, pitched and played shortstop in softball, was the Yellowjackets’ top girls soccer goal scorer last fall, carries a 3.70 grade-point average and is president of her class.

What may be most surprising about Rockwood is that the scholarship is going to a girl who is about 5-foot-6 and weighs 130 pounds. Those dimensions certainly didn’t seem to bother the University of Maine and many other colleges.

“She’s probably not going to get any taller,” her father said. “It was a crazy process.”

Brown, Hartford, Albany Assumption, St. Michael’s and Vermont all showed interest in Rockwood, her father said. But what sealed the deal was visit to the Orono campus, a tour of the facilities and meeting the coaches.

“I loved the campus and the facilities,” Olivia Rockwood said. ‘”I’m very happy the way things worked out.”

Rockwood said the coaches talked to her about getting stronger, and “they told me to keep working on my shooting.”

Shooting has always been the biggest part of Rockwood’s game, and her father, who assists Mackay, said it was evident at an early age.

“I think we started seeing it in the second grade, where she had to be moved up with the fourth-graders,” he said. “We knew pretty much then that we had something special happening.”

“Added Mackay: She’s a gym rat, with a great basketball IQ. She loves the game and is aware that nothing good happens if you don’t put the work in.”

Olivia Rockwood is headed to a school that has won four of the last five America East Conference championships and has played the likes of Duke, Mississippi State and North Carolina State.

“To her credit, she never complains about what’s ahead,” Kabray Rockwood said. “She not only accepts challenges, she embraces them. She just needs to get stronger.”