Youth players vital to basketball squads

By Victoria Tarver
January 30, 2012

It’s not always easy for a freshman to adjust to the college life. They’re away from home living in a new setting and have to start over and make new friends. On top of that, some students play sports and have to deal with the tough battle of juggling school work and practice almost every day.

“It’s tough  but this is not something that any of us can’t handle,” Connor Quigley, freshman guard on the men’s basketball team, said. “Usually your time spent socializing is reduced but it’s all about staying organized. If you can do that you should be fine.”

Cabrini’s men’s and women’s basketball teams work and play hard to give their school great entertainment. This year, the freshmen have begun to experience the life of a Cabrini College Cavalier. However, they’ve had to learn the new tricks and trades to keep up with everyone else.

Quigley believes that playing for Cabrini has been great and he feels that he made the right decision coming to the school. Under head coach Marcus Kahn, the team holds a 19-1 record this season.

As with any student, living away from home for the first time is challenging.

“I didn’t realize how much I would miss being away from home but it was all okay since my team has been like a family to me,” Quigley said.

On and off the court, Quigley and his teammates have accomplished the goals that they want to over the course of the season.

Most of the freshmen aren’t used to the time management skills that they have to practice in order to balance sports and practice. Sports were a big part of their lives before but they now take up more time in college than they did in high school. Some of the older players on the team have found that the freshmen have fit in with their respective teams very well.

“I think they have been a great asset to our team this year,” Fran Rafferty, sophomore forward, said. “They are always in the game and are really big contributors for games and practices.”

Rafferty feels that since they began open gym in the early fall, the freshmen have been making strong progress. The upper classmen on the team also look out for the freshmen because they were once in their shoes. They always make sure they’re doing okay and stand up for each other.

“They [the freshmen] have shown not only me but our team as a whole that they belong here,” Rafferty said. “They each have their own way of carrying themselves but each brings certain intangibles that we needed coming into this year.”

The Lady Cavs only have two freshmen on their team but they also work their hardest to keep up with the rest of the team while they adjust to the college basketball life.

“We all enjoy playing the sport that we love and this team has a lot of energy,” Megan Decker, freshman forward, said.  Decker and fellow freshman Amber Keys have both been great additions to the women’s roster this year.

“Amber and Megan have without a doubt shown that they deserve to be on our team,” Leithie Faison, sophomore guard, said. “Everyday they come to practice ready to compete and ready to not only make themselves better but the team as well.”

Faison’s advice to the freshmen girls is that they have a lot of potential. As long as they continue to put the work in they will be very successful. She wants them to keep working hard, both on the court and in the classroom.

“School work always comes first and we totally understand if a practice has to be missed because of getting work done,” Faison said.

Keys thinks that basketball keeps her focused and organized on the court and she wants to succeed there and in the classroom as well.

“I love my team and I have definitely met some great girls that I hope to continue our friendships after college and basketball,” Keys said.

Keys hangs out with her teammates a lot in the residence halls and also around campus.

College basketball has been an even bigger commitment for her than high school and she says that the coaches expect to see more out of each player.

College basketball is much faster than high school basketball, so these girls had to adjust to the quicker pace. The level of intensity on the court is higher and the girls are stronger and more experienced.

“College is definitely what I expected it to be,” Decker said. “Meeting new friends, hanging out and playing sports all while I am studying to become a teacher.”

“My experience has been great, I have grown as a basketball player and a person,” Keys said. “I love my team and coaching staff. I wouldn’t trade coming to Cabrini for anything in the world.”

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Victoria Tarver

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