Not every kid can tell you that they will attend Yale next fall. Even fewer can tell you that while keeping their grades up to do so they also lead their basketball team in scoring and rebounds.
That’s why Fenwick senior forward Meredith Boardman is not your average kid.
Boardman is having another great season for the Friars this year, averaging 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. The River Forest native will take her talents to the Ivy League and continue to play basketball for the Yale Bulldogs next season.
“The academic experience over there is once in a lifetime,” Boardman said of why she chose Yale. “It was an opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up. When I went there on my official visit I just fell in love with it.”
Balancing a grueling practice and game schedule with homework and studies can be tough in college, but Boardman said she will have no problem managing her time; the hectic schedule during the basketball season actually helps her keep up her grades.
“I’m usually better with time management during the season,” she said. “It’s always practice, do my homework, go to bed. I just have that strict schedule during the season so I’m better with it. Hopefully I’ll carry that over and do well in college with balancing everything.”
Boardman is undecided at this point about what she will be studying at the Ivy League school, but may lean towards a journalism degree.
“I’m going to go through different classes and see what I like,” she said. “But I definitely want to do something with English.”
Boardman began playing the game she loves when she joined an Oak Park recreational league in third grade, and she’s had a passion for hoops ever since.
“It was just something my parents thought would be fun,” she said. “And it turns out that I fell in love with it.”
Growing up in River Forest played a huge role in her drive for the game of basketball, and having a prestigious program like Fenwick to look up to was one of the main reasons she stuck with it.
“You would grow up and you’d see the clippings about Fenwick in the paper, and read about all the girls that went here and what colleges they went to,” she said. “You had those role models, people that you look up to and try to be.”
The 6-foot-1 senior has adapted to the fast-paced style of play implemented by head coach Dave Power. You have to be aggressive to play “Power ball,” and Boardman knows that playing with that aggression will help her prepare for her collegiate career.
“I think I fit in with (the ‘Power ball’ style),” she said. “It’s a fun game to be a part of, because it’s a lot of fast-paced pushing. It’s really preparing me for college and the next level of play. I think I fit into it well and I just really like playing in it.”
“Our system would not be as successful without Meredith,” Power said. “She is our best rebounder and scorer. We’ve gotten a lot of contributions this season, but Meredith’s is the steadiest. She consistently gives us double-digit rebounds and two or three blocked shots. Her mid-range game and her ability to hit three-pointers also opened up her game this year.”
Athletes tend to play the sport that best fits their personality, and Boardman is no different. She knows that any play in a given game can change the outcome, and that fuels her drive to play her best. It’s that drive that makes her a star on the Fenwick team that she looked up to for so many years, and now many young local girls are looking up to her the same way.
“When you step on the court, the other things in your life don’t matter,” she said. “You’re on the court; you’re there in the moment. It’s a game where something can happen so quickly, and it can decide the entire game. It’s little things that add up to something bigger, it’s like being a part of something bigger than yourself.”