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Kim Hanlon and Sofia Roman have become the next two Division 1 basketball players to come out of White Plains High School. The senior duo have both committed to play next season, with Hanlon signing her letter of intent to play at Stony Brook and Roman choosing to play in the Ivy League at Dartmouth.
"I'm very proud of both of these girls," said White Plains coach Sue Adams. "When they came into the program we had just come off of winning the Gold Ball in four straight years, but we had pretty much lost all of our players. It was difficult on them; there was a lot of pressure. But I've seen them grow a lot from that. They still have one more step to take this year in terms of their leadership and commands on the court, but I'm very proud of both of them. The potential for them to be D1 players was always there and to see them live up to that is great."
It has been quite a journey for the pair who both started as freshman; no small task in a program that has seen five Division 1 players and 20 collegiate players under Adams' guidance. Roman cited the White Plains program and some of those older players as huge influences in their career.
"In fifth grade, coach Adams' camp was the first camp I ever went to to play basketball," Roman said. "Ever since then I followed the White Plains program and it ultimately helped me choose to come here... This program was my foundation and it helped me become the basketball player I am today."
Hanlon agreed that the White Plains program directly led to their success.
"It helped us grow up a lot," Hanlon said. "As a freshman, starting and trying to lead a team, you have to grow up fast. The coaches and the former players are always there pushing you to become better and it makes a big difference."
Hanlon chose Stony Brook, who came in late in the recruiting process, over Marist, Lehigh, Mount Saint Mary and American. After making some visits early the summer, Hanlon felt that Stony Brook offered the best opportunity for her to become successful, both on and off the court.
"I liked the campus and I really like the vibe that the coaches and the players were giving off," Hanlon said. "That kind of started it and then as I looked into it more, they had the major I am interested in; athletic training. They're high up in the field and it's what I want to do, so it sort of all fell together."
With Roman's academic achievements, the Ivy League was a natural fit for the sharp-shooting guard who needs to average about 12 points per game to reach the 1,000 point milestone. Roman had interest in Bucknell, Colgate, Penn and Princeton, but Dartmouth seems to be the place she wanted to be all along.
"It has always been a dream of mine to go to an Ivy League school," Roman said. "Once my game developed more and more, I realized I had the potential to also play basketball. I wanted to fuse both of those opportunities into one. When I went to Dartmouth, I fell in love with the school and the coaches. It just felt right."
Both players were very excited to have their college decisions out of the way, but remained focused on the upcoming season. Each had impressive individual goals on their mind, with Hanlon hoping to accomplish a triple-double and Roman gunning for point number 1,000. But as a team, there was no doubt what the two girls wanted.
"To win a gold ball," Hanlon said without hesitation. "We haven't won a gold ball in our four years and it's something we all really want. We know it's going to be a long road if we want to get it back, but I think we have a real chance this year."