By: Alexa Camerino
Although 2021 has come with a lot of negatives, Brielle Guarente has been able to find the positives in the situation, just as she always does. Uncertain if or when the basketball season would get shut down, she played her hardest each and every game, hoping it would not be her last.
Brielle has always been a hard working girl, striving to be her best. Due to her hard work, she was able to score 1,000 points by the end of her senior season, which has not been done since 2009 (Kelli Josephsen). Brielle knows her dedication to basketball has paid off, especially reaching the 1,000 point mark during a shortened season. She did not let the pandemic or the impacts it had bring her down.
Brielle went into the season with 779 points from the past three years, being a varsity starter since her freshman year. She was able to end her senior year with 1,041 points, scoring 262 points in 2021 alone. Due to her being such an outstanding player, she was awarded Second Team All Conference her freshman year, and First Team All Conference both her sophomore and junior year. Brielle Guarente is clearly an exceptional athlete, being appointed these titles by not just her own coach, but by all the others she played against as well.
Brielle is continuing her athletic career at Moravian College in the fall of 2021, where she will surely thrive again. Cassidy Brown, a teammate for the past two seasons spoke greatly about Brielle both as a player and a person. She had very positive thoughts explaining, “When I think of Brielle I think of dedication-totally dedicated to the team and unstoppable, enthusiasm-always positive and encouraging to others, a true leader. A great all around athlete, humble, and lots of fun. I’m so proud of her and all that she has achieved, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for her.”
Friends and family were nothing but excited to celebrate with her and spread positivity. Coach Amanda Keenan said, “Brielle is the true definition of a team player both on and off the court. She leads by example and her unselfishness and positive attitude is contagious. We are all so proud of her!”
Talking about the special day, Brielle stated, “The moment felt surreal. With so much uncertainty about this year and having to play every game like it was our last, I wasn’t sure if this moment would happen. I will never forget this day and I will forever be so grateful for all the support I’ve received over the past few days. I appreciate this program and everyone in it, and I am so lucky to achieve this milestone with so many great people.” Along with scoring 1,000 points, Brielle Guarente was also nominated in an NJ.com poll for the top senior girls basketball players of 2020, and is currently leading in first place.
Brielle explained, “I really have put so much of my heart into this sport and it is so nice to see it pay off. I have been placed in so many fortunate situations from starting varsity as a freshman to becoming an 1,000 point scorer. I respect the game of basketball more than anything, and I know to never cheat the process. My grandfather, who was a 3 sport athlete at UConn, the Verona High School athletic director and the Verona boys basketball coach, was also a 1,000 point scorer in his high school career. It has been so nice to share this moment with him and I cannot express how grateful I am to be put into this moment.” Reaching 1,000 points had her following in her grandfather’s footsteps, and it was a great way for her to end her career as Caldwell Chief.