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Loyola Basketball Siblings Enjoy Their First Full Season Playing Together

Loyola Basketball Siblings Enjoy Their First Full Season Playing Together
Kimmie Hicks

Athletics run deep in the Therien family. Graduate student Ava Therien ‘23 and Alexa Therien ‘25 now approaching the end of their first full season playing together for the Loyola Women’s Basketball team, and their passion shines on and off the court.

The Therien sisters both began their basketball careers during their respective freshman years of high school, thanks to the tough love and encouragement from their father Chris Therien.

Ava said, “I think he just influenced us to just compete as hard as we can compete. If you got a bad game, you gotta wash it and go on to the next game.”

Chris played NHL hockey for 12 years, primarily for the Philadelphia Flyers. Since then, he has placed a strong emphasis on his children and their sports careers, even encouraging Alexa to choose between playing lacrosse and basketball once she reached high school. The two sisters ultimately followed the path paved by their oldest sister, Isabella Therien ‘21, who played basketball for Loyola for her undergraduate years.

Alexa said, “There was a lot of pressure growing up to be the best. I think as to why me and my siblings are all so successful was because we had to live up to something that was so great.”

And live up to it they have. Alexa was named Patriot League Rookie of the Year in 2022, and despite Ava’s injury struggles the last two seasons, the pair have finally taken the court side by side. They strike a strong balance between competition and compassion as they help lead their team to a 12-11 season so far.

Ava said, “There’s definitely competition there and it’s a lot of fun, it makes us better. But on the court when we’re playing together we’re each others’ biggest fans.”

As far as compassion goes, Alexa and Ava have a deep appreciation for each other’s game. They acknowledge their differences and how that makes them the perfect foil for each other.

Alexa said, “Ava’s more versatile when it comes to her pull-up jumpers and stuff. She does this deadly move we call it the Taj, and it’s un-guardable. No one has stopped it yet.”

Ava said, “Lex plays more bully ball because she’s strong. And our high-low game when it’s on it’s pretty deadly, I gotta say.”

As far as competition goes, they grew up going head-to-head with each other a lot, and these two are fearless at taking digs at each other for their weaknesses at far ranges.

Ava said, “Lex has got a trash three-point shot.”

Alexa said, “She’s a hit or miss, literally.”

Alexa takes on the demanding role of captain this year, and with Ava being the most seasoned player on the team, they have both come into their own as team leaders.

Alexa said, “You don’t have a day where you can’t show up. Even if you’re having a bad day you have to be there for your teammates.”

The Women’s Basketball team has enjoyed a three-game win streak in the last two weeks. They will face off against Lehigh University this Sunday.

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