By Jane White / Babson Athletics Communications
BABSON PARK, Mass.—Giovanna Pickering is more than your typical student-athlete. Boasting a 3.28 cumulative grade-point average, her athletic pedigree alone speaks for itself. Pickering, a senior on the Babson women's basketball team, became the program's fourth All-American after guiding the Beavers to their fifth NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 and a 24-6 record. Selected as the NEWBA and NEWMAC Player of the Year, her leadership and confidence on the court are evident. If her athletic talents weren't enough, she still has a few more.
When she's not in class or practicing with her teammates, Pickering is learning a new song to sing or perform on the piano or guitar. "The prep that goes into getting ready for a game or learning a new song to perform is similar," she said. "I take things pretty seriously in terms of athletics and singing, but I try to separate the two and not let one influence the other."
This approach has worked for her, as Pickering is an incredible performer, so much so that she parlayed her experience into an internship at Sony music. "To pair my business education with music was a perfect fit. It was crazy to see all the stars you look up to and take inspiration from, and see how the business side works with it."
Anyone who has attended a Babson women's basketball game the last four years can easily pick out Pickering's father. Though many can see that he is one of her biggest fans, they probably aren't aware of how he fits into his daughter's musical talent.
"It is a funny story how it started," smiled Pickering. "My dad attended Berkley College of Music—when I was a freshman in high school I sprained my ankle so I wasn't able to play. My dad bought a guitar for me and told me to try it out, and it all took off from there. It's something that I love and that I can do along with my dad."
There's no question that Pickering has had a successful career at Babson both on the court and off. Her future plans include working in wealth management on the client side after graduation as well as keeping music as a major part of her life.
"Whatever you're doing, Babson helps you set goals for yourself and teaches you the skills to reach those goals," said Pickering. It's true in school and everything you do in life. The music end of things is not structured, so it's something I had to create for myself and Babson has definitely helped me to do that."
Pickering led the Beavers to 79 victories over her four years, including three 20-win campaigns. Her teams also competed in two NCAA Tournaments while capturing a pair of NEWMAC Tournament and regular season championships.