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One to Watch: Bam Pushing for More Success

Two-time NCAA champion at Maryland keys Americans’ medal hopes

Katie Bam
University of Maryland, College Park
Sport: Field hockey

Katie Bam, then Katie O’Donnell, became the youngest member of the Team USA women’s field hockey team when she was 16. Now 27, Bam is competing in her second Olympic Games with a strong and experienced team. Her collegiate credentials at the University of Maryland, College Park, are tough to match: Maryland won two NCAA championships while she was there, and Bam is a four-time Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year (2007-10), ACC Field Athlete of the Year (2010) and Sportswoman of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation (2010). Not only is she the most decorated field hockey student-athlete in Maryland history, but Bam is also the most decorated player in U.S. field hockey history.

When to Watch: After defeating Argentina and Australia in its first two games of pool play, Team USA competes against Japan on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Eastern time.

Why We’re Cheering: Although Bam made the national team before entering college, she was left off the 2008 Beijing Olympic team. Instead, she pursued her elementary education degree at Maryland and, after graduating, guided the U.S. to gold at the Pan American Games in 2011 and 2015. The U.S. finished 12th at the London Olympic Games in 2012, though, and if the Americans improve that standing, Bam almost certainly will play a key role.