Windsor Lancers

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