Written by Vinny Messana, email@example.com Thursday, 23 January 2014 12:53
In this Sportscenter Era in which every athlete wants to become the next LeBron James or Kobe Bryant, it is refreshing to hear a player attempt to carve her own path. The leading scorer on No. 13-ranked Adelphi Panthers basketball is content being the best Jessica Kitrys she can be.
“I never really had a favorite athlete growing up,” said the senior from Parlin, NJ. “I just have a favorite team,” she added. That team-first mentality has enabled her to lead the Adelphi Panthers to a 12-1 start to the season which garnered national recognition in the latest coaches poll. They peaked at No. 13 with only one team in the NE-10 ranked higher, and that is Bentley University which also began 12-0.
“Bentley is a strong program with a coach that has over 800 wins,” said Adelphi Head Coach Heather Jacobs. This is the reason that voters have given them the edge over Adelphi, which is more of an up-and-coming program. Barbara Stevens has been the head coach of Bentley since 1986, and she has compiled the most victories in the history of women’s Division II basketball.
Adelphi and Bentley both won their first 12 games of the season. It was beginning to become a point of interest who would blink first. The Panthers finally lost in their 13th game, a 12-point defeat to Stonehill College. Jacobs insists the team was not focusing on the undefeated record, rather simply playing fundamental basketball.
Kitrys led the team in scoring in 2012-’13 with an impressive 17.2 points per game. She has improved that mark to 19.5 to this point. While many players can accumulate high scoring averages by virtue of shot volume, Kitrys has shot an incredible 62.3 percent from the field. That is efficiency hardly seen even at the highest level. It is a big reason that the Panthers were leading the nation in shooting percentage through 12 games at 50.1 percent and second in scoring margin at 27.1 points per game.
Surprisingly the senior claims she was not highly sought after when she was choosing colleges.
“Not really,” she said in regards to whether there were several other scholarship offers on the table. “I visited Adelphi, and I was impressed by the atmosphere and the campus.” Of course it didn’t hurt that the school featured a strong Division-II basketball program.
Basketball wasn’t always the first passion of Kitrys. “I used to love dancing as a kid,” she claims. “People told me I was tall and that I should play basketball.” She made the switch to basketball in fifth grade, but also continued playing tennis in high school. Kitrys will be looking to lead the Panthers to an improvement on last year’s second round exit in the NE-10 conference playoffs.
“The goal is to, obviously, win the conference and then move on to the NCAA tournament,” she said. There will certainly be stiff competition with Bentley University. The teams will square up in a regular season matchup this week which will provide an early litmus test for each unit.
From a personal standpoint, Kitrys will definitely be compiling a number of accolades. While last season was nothing to scoff at while she earned NE-10 Commissioner’s honor roll, All-Met Division-II First Team and Northeast-10 Second Team All-Conference, this season has the making of something special.
“Jessica can score in multiple ways,” said her fourth year head coach. “I’ve seen a lot of improvement from here during her career. She’s very good at taking something new and implementing it into her game,” she added.
She has also been lauded for his selfless behavior, which is not to be overlooked at the collegiate level. “She is a great teammate and a great person,” said Jacobs.
Kitrys hopes to continue her basketball career upon graduation as well. Although it is not a guarantee, she will pursue it.
“There’s a decent chance I could play overseas,” she said. Many players have begun their pro career in the European leagues and performed well enough to warrant a chance in the WNBA. In the event that it does not occur, she has a backup plan.
When she is not performing on the court, Kitrys is focusing on obtaining her degree in exercise science in hopes of becoming a physical therapist.
In the meantime, Kitrys is in the midst of a tremendous season for the brown and gold. Keep an eye out for her as she leads the Panthers towards their ultimate goal of a national championship.
Saturday, 20 September 2014 00:00
Have you considered adding running to your exercise regimen but not sure how to get started? Are you concerned about past injuries? Runners, from experienced to beginner, are sidelined every year due to injury. Physical Therapy Options (PTO) wants to help runners get off to a great start this fall and is pleased to offer the community an opportunity to receive a free comprehensive “Running Analysis.”
Physical Therapist Lisa Coors, founder of PTO, views this offering as part of PTO’s mission to help patients live a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Friday, 19 September 2014 00:00
Yard sale announced
The Garden City Bird Sanctuary/Tanners Pond Environmental Center recently announced its annual Fall Benefit Yard Sale. The sale will be held on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., located outdoors inside the front gate at the sanctuary. Vendors are being sought. A 10 x 17 foot selling area is $45 for the day. (Includes space for selling & space to park one car next to selling space)
Thursday, 18 September 2014 00:00
The Garden City Recreation Department’s Dance Conservatory Program is pleased to announce the start of registration for its upcoming 2014-15 season. Director Felicia Lovaglio, along with Mary Searson and the rest of her staff, are excited to start off another fantastic year. The dance conservatory offers classes to Garden City residents ages 3 through adult which are non-performance based. Age is determined by the start date of the desired class.
Note: Registration is by mail only until Sept. 23. Participants MUST be the required age by the start of the program in order to register.
Each session costs $220 for 22 weeks of class. The schedule and fees for this year’s youth classes are as follows (all classes are 55 minutes long unless otherwise noted):
Thursday, 11 September 2014 00:00
Fall Children’s Tennis Classes
Registration for the start of the Fall 2014 Indoor Tennis Program for Children has begun at the Community Park Tennis Center. Walkins and non-resident children attending Garden City Public Schools* will be accepted beginning Sept. 11. Please make checks payable to the “Inc. Village of Garden City." Please note—classes are not considered day care and can not be declared for tax exemption.
* Non resident children who would like to register for the tennis program must prove they attend one of the Garden City Public Schools. Proof must accompany registration. An additional $50 fee will pertain to anyone in this category.
10 weeks of classes—classes will begin Thursday, Sept. 18