Seniors Emily Velozo and Mary Kate O’Day have played side-by-side together for four years on the Framingham State basketball court.
The two have put up consistently stellar statistics throughout their collegiate careers, which shows how much of an impact they have had.
Velozo currently sits at a 12 points per game average for her career, while O’Day owns 15 a game.
But neither has statistically enjoyed a better season than the current one.
Velozo went from a 14.8 points per game average last season, to a 19.3 average this year. She also spiked her field goal percentage from 45% to 50.4% and her 3-point percentage from 40% to 47.9%.
O’Day is currently averaging 17.8 points per game for the second year in a row, but more efficiently this time around. She has risen her field goal percentage from 40.5% to 44.1% and her 3-point percentage took a huge leap, jumping from 29.5% to 39.8%.
Their constant improvement year-to-year shows how great the two are as they have yet to slow down.
“Coaching these two young ladies has been a pleasure. And we aren’t done yet coaching them,” Head Coach Walter Paschal said. “They have worked so hard over the years to get to where they are now and deserve all the accolades that comes from working so hard. I mean, all spring, all summer, when no one is watching, they are working to get better and better.”
Last season, O’Day reached 1,000 career points and recently moved into second in the all-time leaderboard for scoring in FSU Women’s Basketball history. She currently has 1,411 total career points. The
“It came as a surprise – I had no idea I was anywhere near being the second leading scorer,” O’Day said. “It is definitely a cool feeling.”
Velozo joined O’Day in the 1,000 points club this season with a late-game 3-pointer in a win against Fitchburg State.
“Hitting my 1,000th point was special. What made it so special was my teammates, family and friends being there cheering me on and supporting me,” Velozo said. “When I hit my 1,000th point, I could tell simply because the crowd got so loud.”
O’Day said, “I personally was extremely happy and proud of Emily when she scored her 1,000th. She has worked so incredibly hard over these past four years and her hitting her 1,000th point the other night proved just how hard she worked.
“No one is more deserving of that accomplishment than she is. As for the team, everyone was so excited and happy for her as well.”
With neither player starting a single game their freshman year, it is certainly impressive they were able to reach 1,000 points and counting.
“MK works at her craft and she is so unselfish, so it’s a little surprising that she is the 2nd all-time scorer but only because she is so unselfish,” Paschal said. “And Emily only had 22 points her freshmen year but put so much work into her game that she is now a 1,000-point scorer. Really both kids are going to be examples of what other kids need to do to get better.”
The two stepped into captain roles for their final season and thrived in the role, as both are in the Top 5 in the MASCAC for points per game, field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage, and free throw percentage.
They also embraced the role by leading team workouts and aiding teammates at practices throughout the year.
“They both have been great leaders vocally and playing wise,” Sophomore Liana Cunningham said. “They’re leaders when it comes to the game of basketball and they both have led us in the right direction this season. We wouldn’t be where we are without them.”
With the two seniors’ leadership, the Rams own a record of 15-5 overall and 7-0 in the MASCAC and are sitting in first place for the Conference and primed for a long playoff run.
Beyond their leadership and their relationship on the court, Velozo and O’Day have a strong bond off the hardwood with each other and their teammates.
“Playing with Emily these past four years has been awesome and something I wouldn’t trade for the world. Not only are we teammates but she is one of my best friends, so having that connection has made these four years even more special,” O’Day said. “Emily and I have been roommates for three years now and we have definitely had our fun and made lots of great memories. Being friends with her outside of basketball made my experience that much better.”
Cunningham said, “The relationship I have with them on and off the court is very special for sure. They are both like big sisters to me and truly have had such a great impact on my life.
“Both of them are people I know will be in my life for a long time and I cannot wait to see all of what they accomplish after college.”
After this season finishes, the two seniors will be hanging up their Framingham State jerseys for the final time.
But it’s not that time yet, they still have one more goal.
“One thing I definitely want to achieve would be winning the championship,” O’Day said. “We have come so close before but always came up short. Being able to win my last year here would be something special.”
Pascal said, “I don’t want either of them to end their college careers. But if they have to, hopefully they can end it as they always do, giving everything they have.”