Olivia and Jodi-Marie Ramil did not expect to play college basketball together.
“We were actually recruited a lot together,” Olivia Ramil said, looking back at her final years of high school. “But then, the one school that didn’t recruit us together was Georgetown, and it’s kind of funny that’s where we ended up.”
“We knew that we would have been blessed if we had been able to play together going into college, and that was one of the things that would have been the optimal option. We are definitely blessed that coach gave us the opportunity to play together and continue on from high school,” Jodi-Marie Ramil said of Head Coach Natasha Adair recruiting the pair of sisters.
The sisters, just one year apart, played basketball with each other throughout the entirety of their childhood in their hometown of Binghamton, N.Y. From the time when sophomore center Jodi-Marie Ramil and freshman center Olivia Ramil started playing in second and first grade, the two have pushed each other to succeed both on and off the court.
“Those were the best times of my life,” Olivia said. “Just being able to compete with Jodi and my youngest sister. Compete and train and go through the ups and down of getting better and getting scholarship offers and stuff like that, it was just really cool.”
The sisters grew up playing Catholic Youth Organization basketball together for most of their childhood and went on to play on Amateur Athletic Union teams as well. The pair was most dominant during the three years of high school when they overlapped at Binghamton High School. Olivia Ramil was ranked 15th in the country in her position according to ESPN, and Jodi-Marie Ramil was ranked 16th in the country in her position during her recruiting year.
“Those two are another two kids that work hard,” Adair said of the duo. “You’re going to hear that become a consistency with the players that we bring in. Every day they’re in here trying to watch film, they’re trying to get shots up. They want to be better.”
Since the beginning, the sisters have shared an intense competitive spirit. Playing together often translated into competing against one another to gain the title of the better athlete, although they soon realized that exercise was not a productive endeavor.
“From a young age we were always pushing each other to get better,” Olivia said. “We would always ask which one is the better one, but we got the answer down pretty quickly: ‘We’re both good at different things.’ We’re really competitive and I think that’s what got us to where we are now.”
Competition has driven the pair to work harder, but it has also brought them closer. Playing together for over a decade made them particularly close, and that has not changed at Georgetown. As a sophomore, Jodi-Marie Ramil has already shown that she is supportive of her younger sister.
“I told her, ‘Just like back at home, you have me for support and if you ever need anything, you know exactly what to do: Just turn on your bed and you can look straight at me because we’re roommates and I have your back,’” Jodi-Marie Ramil said.
Each sister has a unique skillset to offer to the Hoyas in their 2016-17 campaign. They play in the same position, but their defining characteristics as athletes differ significantly. Jodi-Marie Ramil is the louder athlete, known for her energy and her volume on the court. Olivia Ramil, on the other hand, is quieter but is also a very quick learner.
In one instance during their high school days, Jodi-Marie Ramil noticed her sister in front of her as she was cutting toward the basket. Acting on instinct, the elder Ramil pushed her younger sister into the defense, received an open pass and laid it in.
“I was able to take Olivia and shove her into everyone, and everybody thought that Olivia intentionally pushed everybody over and I was able to get the basket,” Jodie-Marie said. “She ended up getting a technical foul, but it was okay, because I scored.”
The sisters both entered Georgetown coming from a very athletic family. They are the oldest two sisters out of six siblings, and their sister and three brothers all play against one another in three-on-three basketball games when they go back home. Their younger sister, Annie, is currently a junior in high school on the basketball team. Meanwhile, their three brothers are looking to follow in the footsteps of their father, a former football player.
“In seventh and eighth grade summer we used to do the football boot camp with my dad. It was just lifting and conditioning. On my birthday, she had the whole offensive and defensive linemen sing me happy birthday, so that was quite the day,” Olivia said about her older sister’s holiday antics.
The pair is grateful they can continue to play with one another as Hoyas, and they look forward to the upcoming season.
“We’re just excited to start and continue to play together, and like I said, we’re definitely blessed that coach gave us this opportunity to keep playing together so we’re just looking forward to a great season and another three years for me, and four years for Olivia,” Jodi-Marie Ramil said.
According to Adair, the Ramil sisters are two of the most dependable players on the team. They have not only earned the opportunity to play with one another, but they deserve spots on the Hoyas’ roster.
“It’s just great for them, great for their family, but it’s not anything that they didn’t earn,” Adair said. “They earned the right to be here.”
(Cover photo: Michelle Xu/The Hoya)