One in a series of player profile articles previewing the 2020-21 City Six college basketball season.
Olivia Ramil thought she had the right number, but she wanted to go back and count to make sure it was accurate. Yep, she reported back, she had it right. Now that she’s practicing for the St. Joseph’s Hawks, she’s played for 20 head coaches or assistant coaches in her college career, which includes her freshman year at Georgetown and two years at Binghamton.
A grad transfer to Hawk Hill, a 6-foot-2 forward expected to add a strong inside presence, Ramil understands that with all the movement in college hoops, among coaches and players, one key is to make it work for you, get what you can from your efforts.
While producing for her team, she’s done that, including getting the chance to play with two of her sisters, one older and one younger, at her previous college stops.
“I looked at St. Joe’s twice, out of high school and when I left Georgetown,” Ramil said, noting that St. Joe’s had the graduate study program she was looking for, in health administration.
As a veteran of the process — after leaving Georgetown amid a coaching change — Ramil said, “I think it helped me. It gave me an opportunity to think about what I was really looking for. Having been through the process twice, I got good at it.”
Her sisters had been through it, too. But her father, Mike, was a role model on how to make it work, a college football player who moved from California to a junior college to Alabama, where he got on the field for the Crimson Tide.
“It’s a big choice to make out of high school, and sometimes we don’t get it right,” Olivia Ramil said. “It’s as simple as that.”
Growing up in Binghamton, N.Y., playing for a strong AAU program, Ramil always had recruiting eyes on her.
"I think my first offer was when I was in seventh grade,'' Ramil said. “That was Delaware.”
Hawks coach Cindy Griffin remembers Ramil from way back when, how she always showed versatility and skill, an ability to step out and hit a jumper with a nice soft touch, but also a big presence in the paint. Not that Griffin relied on her memory when Ramil expressed interest in transferring. Griffin looked at Binghamton film.
“Does her skill set fit what we do?” Griffin said. “Definitely, it did.”
Last season, Ramil averaged 8.8 points and 5.9 rebounds. An injury has limited her preseason practice time this fall, so Ramil is still playing catch-up, Griffin said. But she’ll get her minutes. It’s not hard to spot the veteran out there.
“Just the things out of her mouth on the court,” Griffin said. “She’s navigating ball screens with our guards. She’s talking, noting what defenses are being used. You don’t really need to play this game at 100 miles an hour. She has a great tempo about her.”
Timing applies off the court, too. At SJU, Ramil knows she can get all the way to a master’s degree under scholarship. She loves the game, just sees the rest of the college sports landscape, too.
“It’s a business‚” Ramil said.