Superstitions to Success: Inside Ally Criddle’s Basketball World
Reading Time: 3 minutes Ally Criddle has provided a massive spark for UVU’s Women’s team this season. What has made her the person and player she is today?
Ally Criddle, a junior halfway through her third year with Utah Valley University’s Women’s Basketball team and Utah native, follows in her mother’s footsteps as a collegiate player. In high school she had to choose between continuing dance or pursuing basketball; ultimately basketball took priority. But the skills she learned through dance carried on into her technique in basketball.
“When I was younger, I did dance for a very long time, but I was definitely a one trick pony, that trick being basketball,” Criddle stated. “Dance taught me how to memorize and pick up on things quickly.”
Criddle says these repetitions are very similar in basketball: “If we are playing a team that week; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, we are learning their plays. In dance we do that a lot; it was nice to learn how to memorize things quickly.”
Criddle is not the only one of her siblings that participates in athletics at UVU. Her brother is a part of the lacrosse team and next year her little sister will join her on the basketball team. Criddle expressed that she could not be more excited to have her sister join: “It is my favorite thing in the entire world. We literally do everything together.” Criddle said that she and her sister share the same passion and that her sister always wanted to play on the college level but did not know if they would be at the same school. “I never wanted to play against her if she went somewhere else, so I am so excited for her to come,” Criddle said. “We are two peas in a pod, ask anyone.”
An important thing to note about Criddle is that she is heavily superstitious. “Every game I do my hair the same way. When we get our ankles taped, I do my left ankle and then the right. I put my left shoe on then my right shoe. At this point I do not even think about it, I just do it.” Criddle also states that she listens to the same playlist and has a cleaning ritual for after the pregame shootaround and the actual game.
“Before every game, I try to clean one little thing; I feel like it eases so much of my stress and takes my mind off the game for a second by letting myself relax and do something I enjoy.”
Her life motto is ‘You can do anything once.’ She says, “You can do anything for 40 minutes. It may suck but you can do it.”
Focusing on the moment is what has gotten her through her eight years in high-level basketball.
When asked about her favorite memory of being at UVU, Criddle mentioned that in 2022 the team went to Europe, and just two days before this adventure she got married to her college sweetheart. “My husband got to come, so it ended up being my honeymoon,” Criddle said. “He has been there my entire career at UVU.” Criddle described this experience overseas as one of the greatest times of her life. As is well mentioned, her husband is one of her biggest supporters.
Criddle currently leads the team in minutes played at 28 per contest and is third on the team in scoring at nearly seven points a game.
Work does not end for Criddle once she is off the court. Her husband, on top of being her “biggest cheerleader,” pushes her to be better and holds her accountable for things that are driving her toward success not only as an athlete but as a student.
Although she does not plan to continue playing once her time is up at UVU, Criddle wants to become a coach in either the collegiate level or locally. Her plan is to continue being involved in the sport that she loves. Just because she will not be playing does not mean she is done with the sport after she graduates.
Criddle’s advice for others who want to get involved in the sport is, “If you have the means then do it. Do not play for recognition, play because you love the sport.”
You can watch Criddle and the Wolverines the rest of the season online at ESPN+ or you can find their schedule online at gouvu.com/sports/womens-basketball/schedule.