FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA Senior guard/forward Logan Battle tied for a game-high 19 points in Georgetown’s 75-72 win over Marquette last weekend.
Senior guard/forward Logan Battle tied for a game-high 19 points in Georgetown’s 75-72 win over Marquette last weekend.

The collegiate careers of the four seniors on the Georgetown women’s basketball team (13-10, 6-7 Big East) will come to a close at the conclusion of this season. For each of them, the final time they take the court in a Georgetown uniform will be meaningful, but for two in particular, that moment will be especially significant. For guard/forward Logan Battle and guard Katie McCormick, their final game as Hoyas will also mark the final chapter in a decade-long story.

Battle and McCormick have played basketball together since they were 12 years old. Despite growing up more than 60 miles apart — Battle is from Springfield, Va. and McCormick is from Leonardtown, Md. — each made the choice early on to play for the Fairfax Stars, an elite AAU program based in Fairfax, Va.
From the ages of 12 to 16, Battle and McCormick rose through the Stars organization together and made countless memories along the way. In looking back on their time as AAU teammates, they recall unforgettable wins on the court — and shenanigans off the court — with seemingly equal levels of nostalgia.

“We won a big tournament in Chicago during our final year of AAU, which was amazing. But we’ve also ridden in shopping carts in parking lots,” Battle said. “We did all kinds of different stuff.”

In addition to providing invaluable memories, their time in the Stars program gave Battle and McCormick the opportunity to travel to some of the country’s most competitive AAU tournaments and to play in front of coaches from top Division I schools.

“We went through a lot of exhaustion going from tournament to tournament, especially during our last year of AAU because it just built up and we were trying to get more exposure,” Battle said.

The exhaustion paid off for Battle and McCormick, as they were each offered a spot on Georgetown’s roster during their junior year of high school. Though they were both strongly considering Georgetown, they made their decisions separately. Battle committed first, signing with the Hoyas at the beginning of her junior year. McCormick committed soon after.

However, in April 2012 — just months before they were set to begin their freshman season at Georgetown — Battle and McCormick discovered that former Georgetown Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy had decided to take a head coaching position at Auburn. Williams-Flournoy had been at the helm for Georgetown for eight seasons and had recruited both Battle and McCormick.

“When the coaching staff started to change with Coach Flournoy moving to Auburn, we were trying to decide whether we still wanted to go to Georgetown or not. We just didn’t know what was going on,” Battle said.

Faced with the choice of whether or not to follow through on their commitments to Georgetown, Battle and McCormick turned to each other.

“We called each other right when we heard about [Coach Williams-Flournoy’s decision] and I said ‘If you’re going to stay then I’m going to stay,’” McCormick said.

Ultimately, they both decided that regardless of the coaching change, they would keep their commitment to Georgetown. In the fall of 2012, Battle and McCormick went from longtime teammates to college roommates.

“When you come into college you want to meet new people and do different things, but at the same time it’s comforting knowing that you have someone that you are familiar with right next to you,” Battle said.

Unfortunately, both Battle and McCormick were plagued with injuries during their freshman year. Still recovering from a torn ACL, McCormick missed the first 11 games of the 2012-13 season. Her first game in a Georgetown uniform was a 90-67 win over Yale on Dec. 28, 2012. She would play in 12 more games for the Hoyas that season — starting two and averaging 15.7 minutes per game — before tearing her ACL for the second time during a matchup with Syracuse on Feb. 12, 2013, in which she scored 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds.

Battle played in 13 games for Georgetown during her freshman season. She earned a starting position for the first time when Georgetown faced off against Yale and was in the starting lineup again for the team’s 66-58 win over Temple on Jan. 2, 2013. The following day, Battle tore her ACL, sidelining her for the rest of the season.

“Freshman year we both tore our ACL at the same time, so we were fresh off surgery around the same time,” Battle said. “We were both lying in bed with big braces on, ice machines working on our knee. We were struggling.”

At the start of the 2013-14 season, the Hoyas were confronted with another major coaching change. Then-Head Coach Keith Brown, who succeeded Williams-Flournoy, resigned on Oct. 10, 2013 — eight days after being placed on administrative leave by university officials. Brown’s resignation came amid allegations that he had been verbally abusing his players. Jim Lewis was named interim head coach just two weeks before the Hoyas’ first game of the season.

Faced with this uncertainty, Battle and McCormick once again turned to each other.

“Especially when it came to the coaching changes, we just didn’t know what was going on,” Battle said. “We asked ourselves, ‘Are we just going to stick it out like we said we were going to when we first came here, or do we really just want to leave?’ We didn’t really know how we wanted to deal with things, so we definitely talked to each other about what we were going to do.”

In the end, Battle and McCormick both chose to finish what they had started at Georgetown. Now in the midst of their fourth and final collegiate season, they are approaching a decade milestone as teammates and as friends. Over that time, they have developed a relationship on the court equally as strong as their bond off the court.

“I just know where Logan is going to be. If I am shooting a three or any type of shot, I know she is about to get my rebound most of the time because this girl can jump,” McCormick said. “And in transition, if I’m running the point, I know I can just loft it up and she’s going to catch it every time. We built chemistry along the way so when we’re on the court together, it’s easy. It just flows. It’s easy to play with her.”

“We know how to play with each other. I think the thing we do the best is pick and roll. I set a screen for [Katie] and then I’ll roll and keep the defender behind me — kind of hugging them — so she can get off a three,” Battle added. “It’s just knowing tendencies and knowing that the person is going to be there to help you out.”

The special link that they share is obvious to all those that know them and have watched them play.

“They finish each other’s sentences. They get on each other. They know how to talk to each other. They laugh with each other. There’s that connection, that chemistry,” Head Coach Natasha Adair said. “If one falls, the other one is right there to pick her up. There is a sisterhood amongst the two of them.”

Adair, who is now in her second season as Georgetown’s head coach, cannot say enough about Battle and McCormick and the roles they have played on the team during her time with the Hoyas.

“Katie is just a worker. She is one of the hardest workers on this team. She never complains,” Adair said. “I can go to her with anything, she can come to me with anything, and I trust her with everything. She’s a kid that gets it. She’s a coach’s dream.”

“Logan will one day be one hell of a coach. She knows this game in and out. She’s the one that always comes over [during games] and she’s thinking outside the box. She’s thinking like a coach,” Adair said. “And she’s the one on the floor that plays every position for us. Not everybody can do that. She’s that hybrid player.”

After struggling last year — the Hoyas finished with a 4-27 overall record and went 2-16 in the Big East — Adair is determined to send Battle and McCormick off on a positive note at the end of their senior seasons.

“I want them to finish strong because I know how hard they have worked and what they have been through. To have those two out there on the floor, to have them as seniors, as leaders, as living trophies in a sense of what we are trying to do, I wouldn’t ask for anything better,” Adair said.

However, Adair knows that regardless of the outcome of this season, Battle and McCormick will leave a void on the team that will be hard to fill when they graduate in May.

“They are the glue. I lean on Katie and Logan a lot,” Adair said. “Wherever they go in the next phase, they are going to be leaders. They are going to be in control and they are going to have so much success because of their work ethic, because they do it the right way. I’m going to miss them. I’m going to miss them both, I really am.”

For Battle and McCormick, thinking about the next phase means thinking about a scenario in which, for the first time since they were 12 years old, they will no longer be playing basketball together.

“I think the thing I will miss most is the fun that we have because at the end of the day, playing basketball is supposed to be fun,” Battle said.

McCormick is focused on the present and on all that the Hoyas have left to accomplish in her final season.

“I haven’t thought about it yet,” she said, in reference to life after graduation.

Luckily, there is still a significant amount of basketball left to play for Battle and McCormick. Their most pressing challenge is Friday’s matchup with conference rival Seton Hall (17-6, 7-5 Big East). The Hoyas have five regular season games remaining and will look to gain momentum heading into the Big East tournament.

Tipoff against Seton Hall is set for 7 p.m. in South Orange, N.J.

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