Former Duke Bresnahan back as graduate assistant

Courtesy of AD – Olivia Bresnahan shoots a three pointer during a 2014 matchup. Bresnahan is currently a graduate student manager for the women’s team.

By Brandon Addeo | Asst. News Editor

Fans of the Duquesne women’s basketball team might remember star guard Olivia Bresnahan playing her last home game as a Duke in a 48-47 win over the Richmond Spiders on March 24.

What fans might not know is that the 5’ 11” former captain has not left the team, but rather taken up another role — this one, off the court.

Bresnahan — who graduated in May with a degree in marketing and is now pursuing an MBA at Duquesne — was appointed graduate student manager of the Duquesne women’s team this past summer.

The job requires her to perform administrative tasks for the team, such as shooting video for the team, ordering the team’s gear from Adidas and scheduling travel for the team’s away games.

“I’ll help with itinerary and travel plans, finding restaurants for after [games],” she said. “I’m helping out the team with whatever’s necessary.”

She said she likes the “business” aspect of her job because it is something she did not get to see as a player.

“Transitioning over [from being a player] it’s like, ‘wow, there’s a lot of thought that goes into everything we do,’” Bresnahan said. “It’s been a very cool learning experience and I like it so far.”

The job does not completely keep Bresnahan off the basketball court.

“During practice, I’m allowed to be on the court,” she said. “I’m not allowed to play, I miss that part, but I can help give my opinion.

“Playing last year and being able to voice my opinion on some things and help correct them, I think that gave me some credibility because [the team knows] that I’ve been through it, I’ve played it and I think they really take what I have to say to heart,” Bresnahan added.

Bresnahan is an important leadership figure for the women’s basketball team, according to Director of Basketball Operations Melissa Franko.

“With eight new players, [Bresnahan is] very helpful at helping them adapt to the environment and adapt to handling their schoolwork as well as their on-court work,” Franko said.

A native of Butler, Pennsylvania, Bresnahan has been playing basketball since she was five years old when she first started participating in a YMCA league.

Bresnahan’s father, who played basketball in high school, taught her how to play and helped develop her skills. When she was in second grade, she had the opportunity to practice with a sixth grade travel basketball team, which she later joined and played for.

“That really helped, playing with older girls, she said.”

After ending her high school basketball career at Butler High School with more than 1,000 points, Bresnahan played her first two years of college at Florida State. She decided to transfer to Duquesne after her sophomore year to be closer to home and play in front of her family, as well as to be an “impact player.”

Bresnahan said she is a “sports fanatic,” especially when it comes to track, baseball and softball. She is also an avid reader, with the Harry Potter series being her favorite.

“I’ve read those like four times. I hate to admit it but I have,” she said, with a laugh.

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