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There’s No I In Team

Jessica Kitrys leading

Adelphi to best start in years

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.

News

April 19 fundraiser to be

held for baby with rare disease

Tom Onorato, the nephew and office manager of Dr. Joseph Onorato Garden City practice All Island Dermatology Plastic Surgery & Laser Center, recently celebrated the birth of a baby boy with his wife Melissa. Both were thrilled when Thomas Kevin Onorato came into the world on September 10, 2013. Despite being born five weeks early, baby Thomas managed to surprise his parents with his indomitable spirit and was sent home with a clean bill of health. A mere four days later began the fight for Thomas’ life.

Budget adjustments, staff reductions recommended

The Garden City Board of Education will prepare to adopt next year’s school budget in a couple of weeks. Before they do, they’ll have to go over a few changes.

At the board’s public work session held at the high school on Wednesday, April 9, school superintendent Dr. Robert Feirsen recommended a few adjustments, part of the annual balancing act that is the school budget.


Sports

Easter Egg Hunt For Pre-K To Grade 5

The Garden City Recreation Department is once again sponsoring the annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19 at Community Park’s fields. This Year Three hunt will be held at 10 a.m. sharp with three age divisions: preschool to kindergarten, grades 1 and 2; and grades 3 to 5.

Special eggs will be stuffed and hidden for all divisions. Each hunt will also feature a grand prize (an Easter basket filled with goodies) which will go to the youngster who finds the egg marked “#1 Lucky Egg.” For further information about the hunt, please call the recreation department at 516-465-4075.

Commitment at Kellenberg

Garden City residents continue to excel while participating in the athletic program over at Uniondale’s Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, coaches of Kellenberg sports pick one player from their squad who has demonstrated remarkable commitment to the team through their hard work at practice and in competition.

The Village of Garden City has a long history of residents who've excelled both on the academic and athletic side of the ledger at Kellenberg. This time around, seniors Kelly O’Donnell (varsity cheerleading), Stacy Madelmayer (varsity girls basketball) and Bryan Salecker (swimming and diving team) have all been awarded the Commitment Award for their outstanding efforts, devotion, hard work and commitment to their respective teams.


Calendar

Dinner & A Movie: In Transition 2.0

Thursday, April 17

School Budget Meeting

Wednesday, April 23

Judi Mark One-woman Show At Library

Thursday, April 24



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com