On Saturday, February 2nd, 10 members of Waldorf’s Varsity Girls Basketball Team along with their coaches – Ms. LaSheena Brown and Mr. Paul LeSueur – traveled into New York City to watch the New York Knicks play against the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden – all thanks to Waldorf alumna Gianna Smith.
Above: Waldorf’s Varsity Girls Basketball Team and coaches with Waldorf Alumna and Coordinator for Community Relations of the New York Knicks, Gianna Smith ’04 (back row, 5th from the right).
Photo courtesy of Isabella Fraim.
Said Coach LeSueur, “We were delighted to go on this special outing! We were especially honored when ‘Welcome to the Waldorf Girls Basketball Team’ appeared on the jumbotron!”
Thanks to the Knicks 2012-2013 Player Ticket Program, the team attended the game on behalf of Knicks player Ronnie Brewer. Remarked Gianna, “They were considered the ‘Brew Crew.'”
A graduate of the class of 2004, Gianna is now the Coordinator of Community Relations for the New York Knicks.
“When we arrived at Madison Square Garden, we were greeted by Gianna,” said senior and team co-captain Isabella Fraim. “She provided each and of us with a lovely Knicks gift backpack as well as pre-game court passes – which enabled us to be up close and personal as the New York Knicks and the Sacramento Kings warmed up!”
“Our girls were very excited at this opportunity,” remarked Coach LeSueur, “and we had our team picture taken with Gianna at center court. Many of the girls also had their pictures taken with the pro’s.”
The Knicks soundly won the game – 120-81.
A graduate of the Waldorf School of Garden City (class of 2004), Gianna Smith is the Coordinator of Community Relations for the New York Knicks, where she works with the Garden of Dreams Foundation to provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences for families and children facing crisis situations. Gianna assists in these experiences by working firsthand with the Knick players, alums and coaches to help make special dreams come true for children. She also has recently dabbled in the digital platform areas by working on the Knicks’ social media handles. During her time at the Waldorf School, Gianna was a star player on the Varsity Girls Basketball Team and helped the team win the 2004 IPPSAL Varsity Girls Basketball Championship. Upon graduation, she attended Adelphi University on an academic and athletic scholarship and played basketball for the Adelphi Lady Panthers. A 1,559 point scorer and “Most Valuable Player” at Adelphi, Gianna’s athletic awards and achievements are many, including the 2007 All-Metro Division II Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year Award, First Team All-ECC (2007, 2008) and Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar, Fourth Team and Honorable Mention (2007, 2008) (to name a few). In 2008, she graduated cum laude from Adelphi with a bachelor’s degree in communications and went on to play professional women’s basketball for Pollitas de Isabella in Puerto Rico. She subsequently returned to the United States and earned a master’s in sports management at the University of Connecticut while being a full-time graduate assistant for Husky Sports. Recently, she returned to Waldorf to play in the school’s annual Alumni Basketball Game.
After-school athletics at the Waldorf School of Garden City is a unique part of the school community. As students enter middle school and high school, they have the opportunity to participate in athletic teams – seasonal options include soccer, basketball, softball and baseball. To learn more about athletics at the Waldorf School, visit www.waldorfgarden.org/athletics.