Lady Cavs’ senior player on the basketball team is Julie Bonomo who comes from Saint Mary’s High School in Manhassett, N.Y. Her story of athletic talent began with involvement in competitive dance, which Bonomo cites as something that helped toward playing basketball.
“Dance helped me a lot with being light on my feet, having balance and being able to be flexible so I didn’t get hurt as easily,” Bonomo said.
With the support and encouragement of family, Bonomo eventually made a switch from the art of dance to shooting hoops on the court.
“My father was the main reason why I got involved with basketball,” Bonomo said. “Once I started to play sports, my dad encouraged me to pursue basketball more.”
To someone on the outside of dance or sports, such a switch may seem like an easy one to make and adjust to. However, Bonomo recalled a great difference in focus between the two physically demanding pursuits.
“The transition was hard because in dance you’re taught to have poise and grace,” Bonomo said. “And with basketball you’re taught to play hard and not worry about what you look like when doing what you have to do.”
As a marketing major, Bonomo’s career goals reflect the idea of working to get a job done as well. Bonomo said that she is in the process of applying to law schools.
“I’m looking into medical malpractice law and sports agency law,” Bonomo said.
Bonomo’s father also provided insight into the athletic abilities that his daughter possesses and leads the Lady Cavs basketball team with.
“Julie has always displayed a talent for basketball, but over the years she has grown to be a complete player on both sides of the ball,” Anthony Bonomo said. “She has become an all-around player and brings an intensity level especially on defense that is not often found.”
Bonomo’s father cited many positive life-long returns for his daughter’s talent in basketball.
“Basketball has taught Julie invaluable life lessons of time management, commitment, dedication, team skills and interpersonal skills that will help her in all of her future endeavors,” Bonomo said. “Especially law school.”
As any proud parents would have, Mr. and Mrs. Bonomo have many favorite memories of their daughter’s accomplishments.
“We both will always remember her winning a championship in high school and when she scored her 1000th point, as well as all of the special moments at Cabrini,” Bonomo said. “While she has won many individual awards, it’s the team ones she is most proud of and that’s what makes her special.”
Bonomo’s coach and teammates agree whole-heartedly for her as a person and as an athlete.
“Julie is a great leader and example for her younger teammates,” Kate Pearson, head women’s basketball coach, said. “She is the hardest-working player on the team, which helps them understand the value of work ethic and the importance of giving it your all.”
These examples are only a few ways in which Pearson sees Bonomo as an asset to the Lady Cavs basketball team.
“She helps motivate her teammates in practice to push each other to get better and in games she continually picks her teammates up on the court,” Pearson said. “She is the loudest cheering when she is on the bench.”
As the sole senior on her team this year, Bonomo holds the job of role model to her younger teammates.
“The younger players continually look to Julie for guidance and support both on and off the court,” Pearson said.
Pearson named the 3-point shoot, defensive intensity and outstanding hustle as a few of Bonomo’s best skills for the game.
“It has been her willingness to take on a great deal of responsibility as the only senior on a team with many new faces that has had the biggest impact overall,” Pearson said.
Junior teammate Laura Caron said that Bonomo is a great leader on and off the court, a great captain, teammate and friend.
“She is a very hard worker and pushes us to be the best we can be,” Caron said. “Julie is very passionate about basketball and will do anything for her teammates.”
Taylor McGarvey, one of Bonomo’s sophomore teammates, provided a few examples of what makes her important to the team.
“Because we are a young team, eight freshman and three sophomores, we really look up to her,” McGarvey said. “She is driven, determined and hard-working. If there is a problem or a concern, none of us hesitate to confide in Julie.”
McGarvey pointed out an important connection between Bonomo’s senior year coming to a close and how the team should view their sport.
“As she gets closer to the end of her senior season, she constantly is reminding us not to take any practices or games for granted because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it will be over before you know it,” McGarvey said.
Although basketball is known for its very tall athletes, McGarvey said of Bonomo why it isn’t always about height.
“Julie is one of the smallest players on the court, but always plays with the biggest heart,” McGarvey said. “She really has no fear on the court and will take on some of the bigger and stronger players. Overall, she is an excellent player, a great leader and captain and also a good friend.”
“He has been playing for so long and yet he is still composed and has a great shot,” Bonomo said. “I love the way he plays the game and uses his knowledge and experience to his advantage. The only reason I cheer for the Celtics is because of Ray Allen.”
When it comes down to her own basketball game, Bonomo continues to strengthen her skills in many ways.
“The things I do that help me as a basketball player would be always working hard, never giving up, keeping a positive attitude and always remembering why I play the game,” Bonomo said.
The leadership which Bonomo shows her coach and teammates also comes through in her advice for future athletes.
“I would just tell younger athletes to enjoy the moment and play hard each and every game,” Bonomo said. “Never let anyone tell you you can’t do something and always be ready to rise to a challenge.”