Tag Archives: Macy Silvey

Q&A: Willowbrook’s Sophie Sullivan Commits to SIU-Edwardsville

For the SIU-Edwardsville women’s program, the 2022 recruiting class is coming together with Illinois prep talent.

Its latest commit is Sophie Sullivan, a Willowbrook point guard who spent her underclassmen years Montini. As a junior she helped lead the resurgent Warriors, to a 14-2 record overall, including 6-0 in West Suburban Conference Gold play, as well as a WSC tournament title.

Sullivan, who announced her commitment on August 13, joins Edwardsville’s Macy Silvey in the recruiting class. Illinois-Basketball.com recently profiled Silvey about her decision to stay close to home.

Sullivan will lead the way this season for Willowbrook after the graduation of Taris Thornton, who is now at Eastern Illinois. Still, the Warriors will return a boatload of talent.

I interviewed Sullivan about her college decision, SIUE’s program, the upcoming high school season and much more.

Illinois-Basketball: What were the most crucial factors that went into picking your college, and how nice does it feel to have that decision out of the way when you start your senior year? 

Sullivan: I absolutely loved SIUE right when I stepped on campus. Edwardsville is a really beautiful town I would say. I feel like no one really knows it until you get there. It just gave me a feeling of home, and I knew I could end up going there. I’ve also known coach Quigley for a long time. She’s seen me play since I was a freshman at Montini. She’s such a nice person. I can’t wait to learn more from her experiences as a player and a person because we played the same position.

I-B: What appeals to you about what SIUE does on the court?

Sullivan: I really like how they play fast because I’m a point guard and I like to push the ball up the court. I feel like I can contribute a lot with my rebounding because for like a smaller guard I would say I can rebound amongst the bigger players and that’ll help get the ball up the court in transition.

I-B: With last year being an odd season, what did you get out of your junior year at Willowbrook and what are you hoping to get out of your senior season?

Sullivan: I was leading on the court, but not so much vocally because I was younger with a bunch of upperclassmen. But then as I got to Willowbrook I think I really took on a leadership role and I helped my team to the first conference championship in a long time. So that was really exciting for my team and for the girls in general. Especially for the seniors to end on a win against a really good (Lyons Township) team was really awesome.

I’m really excited for this year. Especially when I was a freshman, I always looked forward to being a senior and being able to lead all the team workouts and lead the team in general. I feel like the girls really looked up to me and the other upperclassmen on the team since there’s not really a lot of us. There’s two seniors and seven juniors and we have a pretty young team I would say.

I-B: Now that you’ve committed, what are your long-term goals on or off the court?

Sullivan: I’m going to work really hard in this offseason my senior year, and then when I get to SIUE I hope to make the biggest impact possible, whether that be what I do on the court or how I’m cheering my teammates on the bench. I’m thinking about majoring in physical therapy or as a physical education teacher. And then maybe train kids when I’m older on the side.

I-B: When the coaching staff spoke with you, was there anything about your game that they really liked or really wanted you to work on? 

Sullivan: I know coach Quigley has always loved how hard of a worker I was, and she’s seen it in me since I was younger so she knew I would be an impact on the program in that way. She was just saying how she likes to recruit great players and people, so not just on the court but how they are off the court as well.

I-B: When was the first time coach Quigley saw you play? 

Probably as a freshman at open gym when she was the coach at Lewis [University, in Romeovillle].

I-B: Anything else we should know about your commitment or the upcoming season?

For the upcoming high school season, I’m excited because hopefully we’ll have playoffs and everything, and I would love to help lead Willowbrook to the most wins as possible, and maybe regional and even sectional titles.

Expected Illinois natives on the 2021-22 SIUE roster:

  • Redshirt junior Madison Hackstadt (Okawville native, Okawville graduate)
  • Grad Student Allie Troeckler (Bethalto native, Civic Memorial graduate)
  • Sophomore Caite Knutson (Maryville native, Collinsville graduate)
  • Senior Mikala Hall (Danville native, Danville graduate)
  • Freshman Tyler Butler (Belleville native, Belleville East graduate)

Next in Line: Playmaker Macy Silvey Commits to SIU-Edwardsville

Macy Silvey — soon to be a senior at Edwardsville High School — has always been surrounded by talent. 

Silvey shared plenty of attention on the court: She grew up with two older basketball playing sisters, and she has been playing basketball with future Division I players Sydney Harris and Elle Evans since middle school. Still, she’s found a way to flourish by growing into her own role.

Now she’s a Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville commit out of the class of 2022, heading into an environment that her high school coach says she can compete in. She committed on July 30, less than three weeks after receiving an offer from the program.

“I really like the coaches and how they spoke about how they will be running the team,” Silvey said.  “I really enjoy playing basketball at a fast pace, and that is how coach (Samantha Quigley Smith) likes to coach as well. From what I’ve seen so far, the team feels like I would really fit in there which also helps. It helps that the coaches really believe in me, and I think they think I will come in and help shape their program.

Playing at a fast pace against tough competition in high school, Silvey anticipates leaving a mark as a guard at the next level, where she excels at distributing the ball and shooting from deep

“It helps her for the college game even more,” former Tigers assistant and first-year head coach Caty Happe said. “When kids go play at the next level, all five kids are going to be able to score … it’s not like Macy gets easy buckets. I think the way she plays now is going to translate well to the college level a lot better than many kids coming from different programs who don’t have to compete with many good kids.”

Following in the footsteps of two collegiate basketball players in sisters Megan (Lincoln Land) and Makenzie (Southern Illinois), Silvey has always had to play against tough competition. 

“I actually never got to play with Makenzie just because she is a lot older than me, but we do have a lot of similarities when it comes to basketball,” Silvey said. “She has always been my role model in basketball, so it’s so cool when I do get to shoot with her [or] scrimmage somewhere with her.”

Happe said it was special to watch Silvey flourish at the varsity level as a junior last season after not starting as a sophomore.

Silvey shot 36.3 percent from deep last season, averaging 11.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2 steals per game. 

“She’s going to bring them versatility at the guard position and be able to shoot it,” Happe said. “I think what she really wanted was to be able to compete somewhere right away and be at a program that really makes you compete.”

“She’s very close with her family … so them being able to see her play [was important],” Happe added. “She also has the chance to make an immediate impact at SIUE.”

With a three-headed senior trio in Silvey, Harris and Evans, the Tigers have three bonafide Division I players on their roster as they seek to win a 13th consecutive Southwestern Conference championship. 

Both Evans and Harris have been picking up their fair share of Division I offers and could land at bigtime programs soon.

“My role on the team is being one of the leaders,” Silvey said. “I’m expected for my teammates to know what play we are in. Since there (are) three seniors, me and the other two are expected for the younger kids to feel welcome, and for them to feel comfortable when playing with us.  I’m hoping to become a better defender as a senior as well.”

The Tigers head into the coming season with undoubtedly one of the best trios in the state.

“Once we lose them, not only do we lose a ton of leadership, scoring and minutes on the court, but also great, great kids and those three kids have played together all through middle school and into high school,” Happe said. “I know it means a lot for them to be able to play together.”

Now, the Tigers head into their second season post Lori Blade’s leadership as head coach, but with an experienced Happe leading the way.

“The past few years in the program, I feel like the coaches definitely shaped me into a better player and have really wanted me to grow into a leader on the floor,’ Silvey said.

Quigley Smith takes reigns at SIUE

Quigley Smith was introduced as the new head women’s coach at SIUE in May. She was previously the head coach for Lewis University women’s basketball in Romeoville and before that at St. Francis University in Joliet. She is a 2006 graduate of Joliet Catholic and played her college ball at DePaul, where she is third all-time in assists (484). Her sister is the Chicago Sky’s Allie Quigley Smith. 

Expected Illinois natives on the 2021-2022 SIUE roster:

  • Redshirt junior Madison Hackstadt (Okawville native, Okawville graduate)
  • Grad Student Allie Troeckler (Bethalto native, Civic Memorial graduate)
  • Sophomore Caite Knutson (Maryville native, Collinsville graduate)
  • Senior Mikala Hall (Danville native, Danville graduate)
  • Freshman Tyler Butler (Belleville native, Belleville East graduate)