FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Written by Sarah Assante, Regis Graduate Assistant
WESTON, Mass. – The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) has paired up with the Eastern Massachusetts Basketball Officials Association (EMBOA) to launch an initiative to recruit women interested in becoming basketball officials, hosting an accelerated program at Regis College's Higgins Court from September 21-23.
The search ranged all over New England, offering a fully funded clinic to teach participants how to become basketball officials. Longtime GNAC women's basketball assigner Dan Picard, along with rules interpreter Bob DeMayo, held the class at Regis last Friday-Sunday. The program ran for 12 hours over the course of three days and by its conclusion, the participants took the National Federation of State High School Association exam.
The clinic was a success with eight women becoming certified basketball officials that will start officiating at the high school and AAU levels this season. The GNAC office is covering the registration costs for all eight.
Sarah Assante, currently a Regis women's basketball assistant coach and former Saint Joseph's College of Maine player under Monks head coach Mike McDevitt, was one of the eight to receive certification. Assante also handled the coordination of the three-day program.
"This opportunity has helped reignite passionate players back to the game they love," said GNAC Commissioner Joe Walsh, former women's basketball head coach at Emerson College and assistant coach at Harvard. "The clinic helps young women see other women in the field and will hopefully inspire others to do the same. The GNAC is dedicated to grow, empower and expand these opportunities and will continue its efforts to pave the way."
The other particpants included Tracey Clingingsmith, former Emmanuel College women's basketball assistant and now assistant at Simmons College; Ena Daniels, NAIA All-American at Union University; Lydia Coverdale, UMass Boston women's basketball alum; Talia Gabriel, former Lasell College student-athlete; Tamaria Menefee, former UMass Lowell student-athlete; Ashley White, Salem State women's basketball alum; and Ann Marie Clark-Borden, former Newbury College student-athlete and current middle school basketball coach at Cathedral High School (Boston).
Picard also invited certified college and high school officials to help guide participants during the on-court exam portion. There, each participant was paired up with a certified official to run alongside and give advice on angles, types of rules, and more. One of the officials to offer up her own time to help teach the course was Ashley Mayerjack. The former Fitchburg State University basketball player went through this same course six years ago and now officiates at the Division II and III levels.
The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.
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