Windsor Lancers

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Where are they Now? – Tanika Price --- Making A Difference

The University of Hartford and Coach Rizzotti prepared me for the real world-both during and after college. It was the best of basketball, academics, friends & family, and FUN all in one place.

Now, I work for a non-profit organization named CAMBA, which is one of N.Y. and the United States’ largest non-profit organizations. You can find out more info here: www.camba.org. My title is Assistant Director for the Flatbush site of CAMBA. I deal mostly with curricula, budgets for youth & community development as well as implementation of programming. Ironically, I make a return to my roots as my office is located in and services the neighborhood I grew up in. On any given day, we assist anywhere from 1,000-1,200 individuals by bringing them completely free services. 

Our group was recently able to secure a grant for the Brooklyn (Flatbush) area in the form of 1.2 million dollars, which will be used to fund 5-6 projects for the betterment of the community. I would like to use this money for bolstering and implementation of more STEM initiatives, a new computer/technology lab and more academic and athletic based programming.

At my site, we have a wealth of program offerings for children, youth and adults. Some of our programs include:

For Adults:
Financial literacy, GED and ESL, first time homebuyer classes, Computers, Citizenship, Immigration and Legal advice. Also providing small business and loan classes, etc.

For Teens:
A new project called Collegiate Express (specifically for 9th graders) that will put them on the path to college with tutors, mentors, academic monitoring and STEM initiatives. We also have youth council and leadership programs as well as a stellar boys’ basketball team.

For Youth:
Homework help & afterschool programming, STEM initiatives, filmmaking partnerships with the Tribeca Film Festival (our student produced work won an MTV Halo Award and secured $20,000 for a school in Flatbush as well as a $10,000 award for one of our students), karate, acting with Kimball Studios, which is one of the groups that write for Conan Obrien and a number of other TV programs, and of course a really good girls team. I am proud to say that my two Girls teams (ages 10-12 and 13-15) are not only borough champions but NYC champions.

Some of my favorite memories at Hartford have helped to grow and shape the woman I am today. I remember after missing a practice, the coaches held me accountable and I had to run suicides. For any wrongdoings, the coaches held me accountable for my actions. Now, I can appreciate this in a huge way. They didn’t always tell or teach me the lesson I wanted, but rather taught/told me the lesson I NEEDED to hear.

The University has a family-friendly atmosphere, FUN campus living and lasting connections. The Flight Zone is just the BOMB! PERIOD! Hands down they are the best group of dedicated individuals and sports fans I have ever met. I miss them! I had a great time on campus too!

 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Where are they Now? – Danielle Wexler --- Building a Family


After living in New York the past two years I am currently living in Wallingford, Conn. with my husband and baby daughter, Michaela. My life took a dramatic turn last spring when my husband and I welcomed our first child. She has changed our lives in the best way possible.

I love living here; it is such a great place and love not having to commute over an hour to work. My husband was very lucky to have landed a head football job at Maloney High School, while also teaching math at the high school.

I am going into my fourth year as an assistant women's basketball coach at Quinnipiac University. I love coaching and it’s a beautiful place to work. I really wouldn't ask for a better environment to be in. I love coaching the girls and seeing how they develop into young women.

Looking back at my experience as a Hartford Hawk, my favorite memory is beating Temple in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Player Profile: Cherelle Moore '15


If you were to walk by and look into the Chase Family Arena this summer, there’s a pretty good chance you would have seen forward Cherelle Moore '15 taking extra shots. Moore, a Bridgeport, Conn. native, dedicated the off-season to getting in the best basketball shape of her life while completing her summer classes at the University of Hartford.

"Getting in shape was the main goal for me over the summer," said Moore. "My basketball IQ is there, but I realized that I needed to get in shape to become a better player. I worked really hard on improving my basketball skills."

"This was a big off-season for Cherelle and she took full advantage of her opportunity to work hard and get in great shape," said Coach Rizzotti. "She was always a good athlete but she took a step forward when she shed her self-imposed physical limitations."

Moore, a six-foot junior forward with the ability to play the wing or post position, emerged as consistent rebounder for the Hawks down the stretch of last season. She became a key player in the lineup and helped lead the Hawks to the America East championship game. Her teammates and coaches voted Moore the most improved player after the season.

Now an upperclassman, Moore is determined to become more of a scoring threat and leader for the Hawks. “I always want to be a leader on and off the court and I’m hoping to have my teammates be able to look up to me when they need something,” said Moore. “On the court I want to be an offensive threat to our opponents.”

"The confidence Cherelle has in herself right now has correlated to her being more of a vocal leader," Rizzotti added. "She knows she’s an upperclassman now and this is her time to lead by example as well. After two years, she has learned what it means to be fully committed and she is a terrific example to the young players of what working hard and making mental adjustments can do for individual growth."

Moore is excited about the potential her team has this season and is determined to win the conference championship. “With our depth and fast-paced style, we want to be able to run teams out of the gym this year,” explained Moore. "We know what it takes to get to the championship game—it hurt losing in it last year, but it fueled us, and we are coming back angry and determined to be the last team standing."

Hartford opens the season on November 9 against the defending national champion UConn Huskies.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Where are they Now? – Kacey Pratt --- Finding Paradise



After graduation I moved back home to Rochester, N.Y. for a few months before moving across the country to sunny Southern California.  I am currently living in Huntington Beach which is located in Orange County, Calif.  I now know why people leave the east coast and never come back because the weather in Southern California is unbelievable!  I live about a mile from the beach so no complaints here.
 
My dad always told me if you find something you love, you will never work a day in your life, and now I know what he means!  I absolutely love what I do, and have met some of my best friends at my job. I am currently teaching special education at a middle school located in Long Beach, Calif.  This is my second full year teaching, after starting mid-year my first year, teaching the last four months of school. 
 
Last year, I also coached the middle school girl’s basketball team which was an awesome experience because I truly miss playing and being around the game. So, it was nice to get back into it!  Although now I understand Coach Rizzotti’s frustration of not being able to put on a jersey and play!
 
The most exciting thing that has happened recently is that my parents moved from upstate New York to Arizona.  After only seeing them two or three times a year for the past five years, I now get to see them at least two or three times a month.  They are only a five hour drive away, or a quick plane ride.  Having them out here and being able to catch up for lost time has been amazing.
 
My favorite memory as a Hawk goes beyond all the wins and losses.  The best part about being a Hawk is the second family that you acquire while you are there and long after. I have met some of my very best friends while at Hartford and have met people that will hold a very special place in my heart forever.  I know Grandpa Jim is going to be reading this, so I have to give a shout out! Love you Jim!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Where Are They Now? - Katie Kelley - International Adventurer


I am currently living and working in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. After graduating from the University of Hartford in 2009, I moved back home to Syracuse N.Y. and worked as an assistant coach for the Onondaga Community College women’s basketball team. We went 35-1 that season and advanced to the NJCAA National Championship. That summer I also served as the head coach in the Empire State Games and coached the Central Region girls basketball team the championship gold medal game.

In September 2010 I joined my former Hartford teammate Marylynne Schaefer In Leimen, Germany to play basketball. I played one season of professional basketball, but the following summer I tore my ACL. I moved back to Syracuse and worked in the admissions office of OCC. Last year, I applied and was hired by The University of Maryland University College (UMUC) as a National Test Center Administrator here in the United Arab Emirates.

Now, I am enjoying life and learning a new culture in Abu Dhabi! I’ve been working and living here since January. I was able to take some time this summer and travel to Paris, Frankfurt, Las Vegas and  of course Hartford! It was great to be reunited with some of my Hawk family back in Hartford. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Where are they Now? - Bridget Murray - Playing in the Big Time

I am currently living in Voorheesville, NY, which is where I grew up.  After graduating from college, I was a little bit of a nomad.  I have been in the insurance industry since I graduated from college in 2004.  I spent some time right after graduation in Hartford and then transferred with work to Boston.  From there, I again transferred for work to Washington DC.  In 2009, I moved to New York City.  Then I got the opportunity to work for my family’s insurance agency, The Murray Group, in 2011 and moved back home.  I love living here.  It's great to have familiarity and be surrounded by family.  It also means I'm closer to Hartford so I can go see more games! It’s fun working with my family, and despite what many people may think it's not difficult to be surrounded by and working with family all week.  I like that I can reach out to the people I know in the local community and work with them on a daily basis.

I got married in June, 2012 and was so happy to have many former teammates and Coach Rizz and Sully attend. One of my favorite post college memories involving Hartford was when Sully started break dancing at my wedding! My older brother recently had twin boys, and my twin sister Lauren (who is known by many in the Hartford family) is due with a boy in November.  Lots of boys - we may be able to make a basketball team soon!

My favorite memory as a Hartford Hawk was warming up for the first round of the NCAA tournament in Oklahoma City.  It was the first time the women's team ever made it to the tourney, and it was the first time that there was a sellout in the arena we were playing in of over 12,000+ fans.  I distinctly remember shooting around right before the game, and then all of a sudden the Oklahoma band started playing and the team ran out on the court.  It felt like a big-time place to be playing. I really miss the good ol' days at UHa, but I'm glad I've been able to stay in touch with so many friends who really are like "family".  It's been fun going to teammates' weddings and hearing about their new babies

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Where Are they Now? --- Erica Beverly's Proudest Moment

After graduating from the University of Hartford in 2010 and working as the Director of Basketball Operations in 2011 at Hartford, I had the chance to play basketball professionally in Switzerland and Australia. Now, I am living in South Jersey with my husband, Andre Thomas and I love it! It is a change from the city life,  but everyone who knows me knows I love my southern roots. I am currently pursuing my cosmetology license at Empire Beauty School and will complete my license by November! I have a lot of passion for cosmetology and love that there are so many different ventures you can go into such as hairstyling, being an esthetician or nail artist.  I’m very excited about having the chance to pursue this passion and looking forward to seeing what my future holds!

I got married on June 15th 2013 to my husband Andre in Burlington City, NJ at Tabernacle Baptist Church! It was such a beautiful and sunny day that the Lord blessed us with. We had our family and friends, including many former Hartford teammates, with us for the celebration and we couldn’t have asked for a better day! From the design of my dress, our aisle runner, to the church d├ęcor and my brooch bouquet and even the groom and best man pants, our entire wedding was so unique and special and I enjoyed planning it. I was very pleased with how it turned out and it was so much fun. My wedding day is one of my proudest moments.

I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my experiences as a Hartford Hawk and I have to say my favorite memories are the bonds with my Hartford family (coaches, teammates, fan’s and the staff I worked with at Hartford). The most profound part of the bond is that it still exists today! I’ll also never forget after I tore my ACL at the beginning of my sophomore year when Coach Rizzotti sat me down at the end of the season and explained to me that a NCAA rule change would now grant me a red-shirt year (originally we didn’t think it would be a possibility). That moment was so important because I could see the joy in Coach Rizzotti’s eyes and we both started to cry. I felt as if she was treating me as one of her own children. I was so filled with appreciation and determination to recover from my injury and make our program proud.

 

 

 

 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Where Are They Now?: MaryLynne Schaefer - Dreams Do Come True

Like most kids, I imagined on a regular basis what I wanted to be when I got older and had to begin life in the “Real World”. Whether it was a firefighter, actor, lawyer, ice cream shop owner (oh, just me?), journalist, teacher, professional athlete, or coach; you imagined it and hoped it would become a reality one day. In about seventh grade, with four years of basketball under my belt I knew I wanted to try and make basketball my future and not just my present. I began thinking big picture. Could I play in college? Could I play professionally? If I can’t play forever, will I be good enough to coach? I know what you are thinking, ‘really in seventh grade you thought about all of this’? If you know anything about me, planning and goal setting is what I do. Maybe it’s the military background from my dad that instilled this way of thinking for me, but I am glad I have it.

My time at Hartford went by extremely too fast. We won America East Championships and made the post season year after year!  In addition, we beat Top 25 ranked opponents each of those years, including 5th ranked Duke my senior year; but I built relationships with great people and created lasting memories. After graduating in 2009, I was fortunate enough to spend two years playing professionally in Leimen, Germany. I won a championship, met amazing people, learned to speak another language and spent my last season playing with former college teammate and roommate, Katie Kelley. Living in another country and experiencing a completely different culture from what I grew up with, is something I will never forget.

Here I am now, four years graduated and approximately 1,401 miles from Hartford and living in sunny Miami with a daily view of the ocean (unfortunately I am still working on that tan ... might be a lost cause, but I won’t give up). I am entering my third year working at the University of Miami and second year as their Video Coordinator. During my time on staff, we have traveled to Alaska, appeared in back-to-back NCAA tournaments, and watched seniors achieve their goals of getting drafted and competing in the WNBA and abroad. On a daily basis I am learning from an exceptional staff, led by Head Coach, Katie Meier. As a student-athlete I knew my coaches worked hard to prepare us for the upcoming season, practice, and opponent, but I didn’t truly learn to appreciate everything they did until I was on the same side as them. There is so much additional preparation and non-court related responsibilities coaches and staff have on a daily basis. I didn’t fully understand those responsibilities until I found myself doing some of those intangibles. Working at Miami has allowed me to learn unconditionally and appreciate how much work Coach Rizzotti and everyone else on the staff at Hartford did while I was there.

In November, the 1,401 miles will shorten when Coach Rizzotti and the Hawks come down to compete in our Thanksgiving tournament. Not only do I look forward to their arrival, but hopefully Sully will be able to fit in a game of horse (like the ‘old’ days) when he isn’t found playing a few holes of golf.  I would never change the path I have taken to what I am currently doing because at the end of the day I love working toward achieving what the seventh grade me set out to do.

 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Where Are They Now?: Mary Silvia Travels the Globe with SeriousFun Children's Network

“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
-Dr. Seuss, Oh the Places You’ll Go


When I graduated in 2011 I did not expect to stay in Connecticut, but what do you know?! I live in New Haven and work in Westport, and couldn’t be happier! In November 2011 I started at SeriousFun Children’s Network, a nonprofit network of camps and programs for children with medical conditions (some of you may be familiar with The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp—that’s how it all started). In my current position, I work with our Global Partnership Programs, where we partner with local organizations in different countries and train them to lead and operate camp programs. So far, this amazing job has taken me to India, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Botswana. Over the past 5 months, I have had the privilege of connecting and working with the most lovely people all over the world. I’ve eaten foods that I could not identify, I’ve gone days without a warm shower, I’ve become accustomed to sweating buckets in 120 degree heat, I’ve learned how to say hello and thank you in 4 different languages, and I’m currently in the midst of my longest trip of two months. These things are not in everyone’s comfort zone, but all of this is such a natural fit for me and I am fully infected with the travel bug.

I have spent 10 of the last 24 weeks abroad—travel is the name of the game this year. However, I am able to keep in pretty close contact with my family and friends, and a trip to my parents is always first on the list when I return. Before leaving for this trip, I had the good fortune of going down to Knoxville for Coach’s induction and it was an honor to be part of that special occasion. And when I get home in August, I will see Jenna Peterson again, returning from her 18 month mission in Argentina!

Attached are some photos from my trips, everything from wearing a sari in India to Leadership Team training in Botswana! When I travel, I keep a blog…or at least I try to when I have a wifi connection. Feel free to check it out: http://marytookawalk.blogspot.com

Mary