It looks like Clarkstown South alumna Kayla Tucek will have at least one familiar face on the court at SUNY Oswego this season.
The Journal News confirmed Friday that Nanuet alumna Julia Bartell has made the Oswego women’s basketball team, setting up a reunion with her former Hudson River Hornets AAU teammate.
While Tucek was recruited to play for the Lakers, Bartell had to earn her spot as a walk-on. Nanuet head coach Valiant Jones, who took over the Golden Knights program last year, said he has been in contact with Bartell once or twice a week since she left for college.
“She stayed dedicated and worked on the things she needed to work on over the summer,” Jones said. “Do the little things — work hard, dive on loose balls, be a great teammate.”
“It’s great for the program, and great for her,” Jones said of his former pupil.
Jones said the two should complement each other on the court, with Tucek’s excellent ball-handling skills at point guard and Bartell’s sweet stroke as a shooting guard.
A former assistant coach at Nyack College, Jones said the two will also benefit from each other’s company off the court.
“They can be there for each other,” he said. “In college basketball, there are a lot of ups and downs and you’re on the road a lot. Having a familiar face from the same area will help each other.”
Oswego opens its season on Nov. 14.