Felecity Havens came into the University of Mount Olive by way of Troy University and East Carolina and the moment she stepped on Mount Olive’s campus, things changed for the UMO Women’s basketball program.
During her journey as a student-athlete at Mount Olive, Havens has turned into a woman that believes in value over glamour. Instead of preaching about numbers and accolades, she talks about love, the importance of protecting your peace, among other things that remind the people around her to enjoy the moments we have because life is all about perspective.
Coming in as a D1 transfer, Felecity could have shut down and looked at her time here as a waste because so many people see going from D1 to DII as a form of backtracking. Havens kept her stability by being able to drown out the noise and self-doubt which made all the difference as she was able to realize that her story is hers and she can’t let anyone try to write it for her because she’d fail every time if it was up to others.
Havens will leave a legacy that stands above the rest as she finishes her career as the leading scorer in school history with 2,054 points and she became the first UMO women’s basketball player to surpass 2,000 points.
Family is all we got
A Lorain, Ohio native with two younger siblings, family has forever been cemented as her number one motivator throughout her career. Havens has both her younger brother and younger sister’s name tattooed on her wrist and she gives them a tribute by kissing her wrist each time she steps on the court.
One can watch Felecity play and it becomes evident very quickly to see what makes her one of the best DII players in the country. “I play for them,” said Havens. “They motivate me so much because I know they believe in me. I want to be an inspiration to them and remind them that they can do anything they put their mind to and that anything is possible no matter what your journey is.
It doesn’t matter what adversity you may face, you can always get to where you want to go.”
Felecity’s bond with her siblings come before almost everyone...the exception is her mom. “My number one motivator has definitely been My mother,” says Felecity. “I call her before every game and I have ever since I was in high school, she was the one person I made sure I talk to before every game.
She gives me confidence and allows me to Believe in myself.” That confidence instilled by her mother has helped Felecity become the Conference Carolinas Player of the Year in back-to-back years.
It might not be easy, but it will be worth it
Things haven’t always worked out the way Havens envisioned them during her time as a Trojan, she’s experienced strong starts to a season just that eventually flattened out, she’s missed the tournament multiple times, but she’s also been a part and led the charge for some amazing wins.
As the leader for Mount Olive, her mentality would leak onto her teammates so she made a concerted effort to never be satisfied with being just good. “I have learned that there is always more effort that can be given,” said Felecity. “
You can always give a little bit more and go harder each and every time you step on the floor. When the game doesn’t go how I want or how I planned it just leaves room for growth and for me to get better.”
Her teammates may not have always liked what Felecity has had to say, but it is evident that so many respect her voice and during her struggles, she has turned her thinking away from herself onto remembering it’s deeper than a game.
Haven’s has volunteered for many events and she is a great representative for the university. Havens was born with the heart of a leader saying, “I am most passionate about making an impact. Whether it’s my teammates or whether it’s for people in the mount olive community, anyway I am able to make an impact and be a transformational leader, makes me happy.”
Felecity would describe herself as a vessel and even when days are tough being away from her family, she believes that God blessed her with basketball talents that put her in a position to impact so many which she has done and hopes to continue, “I hope to use basketball as a platform to glorify God and an opportunity to make an impact in this world any way I can. It is crazy how that little ball can take me so many different places and allow me to be a part of the lives of so many different people and I would like to take advantage of that opportunity to do what I can.”
Without struggle, there is no experience and the difference between real leaders and pretend leaders is that the real ones don’t try to run away from the struggle, they embrace it. Felecity Havens embodies that.
Leave it better than you found it
Felecity Havens has had more amazing moments in one season than some have had in their entire careers. One of those moments and Felecity’s favorite moment came from this past year when she hit the game-tying shot that helped the Trojans beat Limestone for the first time since she became a student-athlete at UMO.
When Havens first got to Mount Olive she told herself, “I wanted to bring things to this program that has never been brought here before. I thought and recognized that this place would be a great way to grow. Leaving Mount Olive, I can say that I definitely was right because I have grown so much in so many different ways even outside of the game and the people here have made me a better player and even better person.”
The bar has been set extremely high for the players who come after Havens, but being the first women’s player to surpass 2,000 points and not only leading the team to a winning record, but also helping Mount Olive get to the Conference Carolinas Semifinals this past year, there is a lot of excitement around the women’s program.
Felecity was asked "if people could take one thing from her what would it be?" and in typical Felecity fashion, she talked about the power of self-love saying, “If people could take one thing from me, I would want them to take the mindset that they have to be themselves. I hope that they could copy authenticity, and not just with other people, but with oneself as well. Being you to me is more important than almost anything. You must always stay true to who you are no matter what, know yourself and know what you deserve and what you need to do to grow.”
The marathon continues
After graduation, Felecity plans to play overseas in the next year or so. She wants to focus on “a lot of training and as much coaching time," she can get, "whether it’s travel ball, or summer ball.” Havens is a locally well-respected fashion stylist/blogger as well that she not only uses to incorporate basketball but get away from it as well.
Havens has dedicated herself to making not only herself, but those around her better and she will forever be remembered as a player and a person that left a piece of herself in everyone she met. Congratulations on a fantastic career and good luck in your future endeavors Felecity.