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NEPSAC Girls Basketball in the News

What's Our Story

Inside the Huddle: Dewey's Risks Pay Off In Journey From New England to Illinois

FEATURE

By Jackson Janes

December 4, 2023

New Coach in Town
June 27, 2023

Storm King School announced the appointment of Coach Tian Tang as the new Head Coach for the girls' basketball program. Bringing over seven years of coaching experience at both collegiate and high school levels, Coach Tang has a pråven track record of elevating teams to new heights.

Most notably, Coach Tang made history during the 2021-22 season as the interim head coach for the City College of New York's women's basketball program, becoming the first Chinese-native basketball head coach in NCAA history. His collegiate coaching journey includes notable stints as an assistant coach for the College of Mount Saint Vincent, Western Connecticut State University, and Sarah Lawrence College, where he contributed to the program's historic achievements.

A former NCAA Division III basketball player, Coach Tian Tang brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for the game. Storm King is confident that his coaching expertise and dedication will propel the girls' basketball program to new successes, fostering both skill development and team spirit.

Join us in welcoming Coach Tian Tang to the NEPSAC family, as we eagerly anticipate an exciting and successful chapter for Storm King School's girls' basketball program under his leadership.

First NCAA-Certified Event is a huge success
June 17, 2023

Once upon a time, the boys had their time in the spotlight, showcasing their basketball talents at not one but two NCAA-certified June Scholastic Events. But for the girls, the opportunity remained a distant dream. That is, until the determined individuals of NEPSGBA (the Girls Basketball Association) decided to challenge the status quo and bring equality to the court.

 

In the fall of 2021, Ayo Hart, NEPSGBA President and Head Coach at Sacred Heart Greenwich reached out to the NCAA Office of Certification and Enforcement. The initial request to host a similar event for girls was met with disappointment. However, undeterred by the setback, the relentless pursuit continued. And in January of 2022, the NCAA bestowed their approval upon the Girls Basketball June Scholastic Event, officially adding it to the Women's Basketball Recruiting Calendar for June 2023.

The stage was set for an extraordinary gathering, and it did not disappoint. Nearly 300 student-athletes from 52 member schools in our conference flocked to the picturesque campus of Sacred Heart Greenwich, driving down from as far as Vermont and even flying in from Seattle and Puerto Rico. They came not only to compete alongside their teammates but also to forge new friendships with players from other member schools.

 

With anticipation soaring, the student-athletes were met with an awe-inspiring sight. Roughly 100 NCAA coaches from every level eagerly assumed their courtside positions, armed with notebooks and cell phones, ready to take note of both established talents and rising stars. There were numerous barn burners including a buzzer beater on Day 2 and a double overtime thriller on the final day. 

 

Following the event, a comprehensive survey was conducted, gathering feedback from NCAA coaches, NEPSAC student-athletes, NEPSAC coaches, and NEPSAC parents. The response was overwhelmingly positive. NCAA coaches raved about the event's usefulness in their recruiting endeavors. Not only were they able to evaluate potential student-athletes already on their radar, but they also had the rare opportunity to expand their list of prospects, an invaluable experience usually elusive in the confines of a 40+ court convention center.

 

NEPSAC student-athletes marveled at the unique advantage they had enjoyed. Unlike AAU tournaments where coaches tend to focus on the top courts exclusively, every court at our event was a top court. The abundance of talent showcased the depth and caliber of NEPSAC basketball, transcending class divisions from AA to Class D.

 

A notable departure from tradition was our decision to exclude parents from the gymnasium during the showcase. Initially conceived to accommodate the multitude of NCAA coaches, the idea received unanimous support from both NCAA and NEPSAC coaches. The consensus was that the absence of parents created an environment where the event thrived. The resounding absence of parental coaching, sideline distractions, bantering with officials and post-game interrogations allowed the student-athletes to play with unparalleled freedom and focus.

 

While we empathize with the challenge parents faced in not being able to watch the games live, the overwhelmingly positive feedback from NCAA coaches, officials, NEPSAC coaches, and the student-athletes themselves confirms that an incredible atmosphere was born from this decision. The live streaming of games through our valued sponsor, Playsight, further extended the reach, with numerous college coaches tuning in remotely, adding another layer of engagement and exposure.

 

“The impact of the showcase has been nothing short of extraordinary,” says Hart. “Numerous student-athletes have already received offers and invitations for visits, a testament to the event's efficacy. As we eagerly look towards the future, we are confident that the Girls Basketball June Scholastic Event will continue to flourish and grow. Though, I will say, my favorite part of the event was watching girls from different teams high five each other, hang out in the bleachers and in the halls together, and really start to embody the spirit of NEPSAC. Typically, when you go to these types of showcases, you see a lot of ball hogs and poor shot selection as everyone tries to outshine the next person. Last week, each and every player no matter who they were mixed with celebrated the successes of the player next to them and sometimes even across from them.” 

 

Hart added that she was equally impressed with the commitment of so many NEPSAC coaches who gave up time during what would normally be their summer holiday to travel with their teams, and some with just one or two student-athletes to coach and support their girls. “Many of our coaches would normally be on vacation right now, or at least definitely not coaching their team. The fact that so many dropped everything midweek to be here, and a few arrived early to set up or stayed on well beyond the completion of their team’s games to help run the clocks, breakdown and clean up is proof that we have truly cultivated an extraordinary culture at NEPSAC. While I might have spearheaded the proposal to the NCAA, this event would never have been possible without the help of so many NEPSAC coaches who selflessly volunteered their time for our student-athletes. 

 

Not a single NCAA coach has expressed hesitation to attend next year's event, and some have even reached out to express their remorse for missing out this year. They eagerly anticipate Super Sunday, our much-anticipated annual event hosting championship and all-star games for every class from AA to D. 

 

The inaugural Girls Basketball NCAA-certified June Scholastic Event has indeed paved the way for a new era of opportunities and recognition for our NEPSAC student-athletes and has solidly put NEPSAC Girls Basketball on the map of national recognition as the most dense concentration of talent in one conference.

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