Blogs | Eric Benevides

A "dream come true" for Stephanie Coro at URI

Seeing how my first blog post drew a lot of attention, here’s another one …

• Two years after establishing herself as a two-sport professional athlete in Spain, playing basketball for CB Prat-Aigues in the Liga Espanola de Baloncesto and softball for Viladecans in the Spanish National League, former North Providence High and Rhode Island College hoop star Stephanie Coro is enjoying her “dream-come-true” role as the assistant director of operations for the University of Rhode Island women’s basketball team.

Coro, who spent last season as the varsity assistant and head junior varsity coach for the St. Andrew’s School girls’ basketball team in Barrington, has had a lot on her plate, but she couldn’t be happier with her day-to-day tasks. Among her roles are being in charge of the Rams’ recruiting database, managing the practice players and student managers, serving as the team’s academic advisor, writing the team’s monthly newsletter, sending out information to recruits, and doing whatever she can to promote the program.

Among the members of the coaching staff that she works with daily is assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Marcus Reilly, who was her head coach at Rhode Island. Under Reilly, Coro, a 2013 graduate of RIC, was a four-time Little East Conference all-star guard who became the team’s number two scorer in school history with 1,516 points.

“He’s so knowledgable, I love sitting in his office and talking basketball with him,” said Coro. “He is a big reason I am where I am in my life right now. He still pushes me to be better every day, and I knew that was never going to change. He is now pushing me to get my masters degree, and I cannot thank him enough for what he has done for me and still continues to do.”

She’s also enjoyed working with another familiar face from her RIC days, former point guard Nicole Girard, who is the team’s Director of Basketball Operations, as well as head coach Daynia La-Force, who “is great to work for and has taught me so much in the short time I have been there,” added Coro. “Every day I pay close attention to everything she does.”

Coro also went on to praise the Rams’ assistant coaches, Stephanie Tobey and Dan Durkin, as well as the “incredible” support staff at URI.

“This whole season has been an amazing experience,” Coro added. “There are still days when I walk onto the court in the Ryan Center and just stop and look around. I still say to myself, ‘I can't believe this is my job," with a huge smile on my face. And I cannot thank Coach La-Force enough for giving me the opportunity to have this job. I work hard every day as my thank you to her.”

• While the news has been good for Coro, it wasn’t so great for another North Providence hoopster, Deja Ross, a senior guard on the Pomfret School girls’ basketball team who will be continuing her hoop career at Xavier University.

Early in the second half of her fourth-seeded team’s semifinal-round game against top-seeded Tilton Academy last weekend in the NEPSAC (New England Prep School Athletic Council) Class B tournament, Ross was knocked to the floor on a drive to the basket and exited the game with a separated shoulder. Pomfret, which held a 30-18 lead at halftime, ended up suffering a 59-47 loss.

Pomfret, which went 13-10 and also features two other local players in its starting lineup, Lincoln’s Chrissy Bacon and Isabel Forti, had topped Brooks School in the quarterfinals, 55-41.

• Speaking of Pomfret, the Connecticut prep school’s boys’ hockey team also had a local flavor on it as it captured the NEPSAC Small Schools championship last week by defeating Cushing Academy, 3-2 in overtime, at Saint Anselm College.

Pomfret, which saw North Smithfield’s Josh Labonte, Smithfield’s Nate Gentile, and Scituate’s Brandon Mitchell play major roles in the team’s success, was the sixth seed in the tournament, yet hit the road to defeat the Winchendon School in the quarterfinals, 5-3, and New Hampton, 4-2, in the semifinals.

• Seems like some people on social media and other media outlets were referring to this weekend’s Division I, II, and III boys’ and girls’ basketball championship games as “state championship” games. Folks, these are DIVISIONAL championship games. You want to see state championship games? They’ll be on Sunday, March 19, at URI’s Ryan Center, and there will only be one boys’ and one girls’ state champion crowned that night.

• Interesting fact that came out of last month’s RIIL Indoor Track & Field Championships – there are 132 former high school athletes in this state who are currently competing on Division I college track and field teams. Thirty are from the Valley Breeze readership, with nine of them Cumberland High alumni.

• A missing name from last week’s story on the state high school swim meet at Brown University: Cumberland’s Olesya Tamburro, who is a sophomore on the Bay View Academy girls’ swim team. She placed eighth in the 500-yard freestyle in a 5:34.97 and also helped two Bengal relay teams earn top-eight places.

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