Hooping It up in Honolulu:Former St. Mary’s Star Kirsten Ferrara Leads Wheaton in Hawaiian Tournament

December 23, 2014
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Wheaton College senior Kirsten Ferrari of Lynn, pictured during a game this season.

Wheaton College senior Kirsten Ferrari of Lynn, pictured during a game this season.

Kirsten Ferrari’s basketball career at St. Mary’s High School took her to some interesting places, including Walt Disney World in Orlando, where the Lady Spartans won the KSA Classic.

Ferrari, a standout point guard for the 2011 state champions, also played at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, TD Garden in Boston, and DCU Center in Worcester where she scored 16 points and hit four clutch free throws late in the Spartans’ 64-54 win over Lee in the state title game.

Ferrari is now a starting senior guard for the Wheaton College women’s basketball team and she’s playing this week 5,000 miles from Lynn: in sunny Honolulu at the Hoop N Surf Basketball Tournament.

“I’ve never been to Hawaii before – it’s very exciting,” said Ferrari prior to her departure for the Aloha State. “We’ve been talking about this trip since my sophomore year and last year we were able to finalize it. So we’ve known for a year that we were going to Hawaii.”

Ferrari said she has been following the daily temperature and forecast in Hawaii on her phone.

“I’ve been keeping track and it’s been 79 degrees every day,” said Ferrari. “It will be nice to get away from the cold.”

While there will be time for sun and fun in the paradise on the Pacific, the Lady Lyons will be tested on the court. One of their opponents is George Fox University (Oregon) who is undefeated and ranked No. 13 in the Division 3 poll.

Ferrari is averaging close to 10 points a game along with four assists and four rebounds for the 5-2 Lyons. Her work ethic, dedication and leadership have impressed head coach Melissa Hodgdon.

“Kirsten is in her third year of playing for us even though she is a senior,” said Hodgdon. “She opted not to play her freshman year so she could focus on academics. We are so glad that she started playing her sophomore year. By the time her junior year came, her dedication paid off and she moved into a starting role for us. Now I see her as a leader like was for the St. Mary’s state championship team. She is tough, competitive and cares about this program greatly.”

Ferrari is pleased with her college basketball-playing experience at the school that is located in Norton, Mass. She is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Education and is considering graduate school studies in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA).

“I’m very much enjoying the entire experience,” said Ferrari. “I can’t believe it’s almost all over. Playing college basketball was a big adjustment from high school.  I struggled with it for a little bit, but once I got used to it and how we played team basketball, it became a lot easier. Having Mr. Newhall for a coach and playing all those games in the State Tournament helped prepare me for college basketball.”

Newhall, who has led St. Mary’s to state titles in 2011 and 2014, is happy to see his former star point guard excelling at the next level. Having traveled to Disney World twice with his teams, Newhall understands the excitement of playing far away from your own backyard.

“It’s just a great thing that Kirsten will be playing in a college tournament in Hawaii,” said Newhall. “She was a player who brought so much skill and leadership to our program, She was a clutch captain who played her best basketball in the postseason when we needed her to step up. I’m happy that she decided to return to college basketball and she’s excelling at Wheaton. Kirsten’s been a credit to our school, the city of Lynn, and her family.”

Ferrari hopes to attend a St. Mary’s game in the upcoming Boverini Tournament. She reconnected with former teammate Jennie Mucciarone when their teams met on the court last week. “We played Jennie’s team (Tufts) last week,” said Ferrari. “Jennie and I talked after the game. Tufts is a very good team. We could see them again in the NCAA Tournament in March.”

But for now, it’s back to summer-like weather in Hawaii for a few days and then on to the new year for the future St. Mary’s Hall of Famer.

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