Hanover Park High School’s Samantha Cicerone honored and reaches milestones

By Steve Sears

Hanover Park High School senior, Samantha Cicerone, had a pretty nice December and January.

Cicerone learned in December that she was to be her school’s recipient of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) National Girls and Women in Sports Award, which is bestowed on an individual for their achievement and dedication to academics and sports, and then in January she was at New Brunswick’s Jersey Mike’s Arena to receive her award when the Scarlet Knights women’s basketball team took on the Penn State Nittany Lions.

There was much more to come. On Wednesday, January 30, as she and her Hanover Park Hornet girls’ basketball teammates played against (and defeated) rival Whippnay Park, 56 – 20, Cicerone – who plays guard and small forward – scored the 1,000th point of her career, and as well grabbed her 800th rebound and swiped her 200th steal – all in the same game.

The afternoon contest was well attended, and it included Cicerone’s dad and mom, Joseph and Kimberlee, her younger sister, Sophie, as well as out of state relatives.

Cicerone said, “I was super excited for that game, because we knew ahead of time that I was going to get it (the 1,000 point). I was nervous going into it because I had to score nine points. Until that happened, it was just a little nerve-wracking.”

The record setter came on a free throw for Cicerone, who had no idea during the game that she was approaching new century marks for rebounds and steals as well. She recalled with a chuckle about being told about the other notable numbers. “When people told me, I said, ‘Oh really?!’ I had no idea, and that was kind of cool, too.”

Cicerone, a three-sport athlete who also plays soccer in the fall and lacrosse in the spring, has led the Hornets in hardwood scoring every season since her sophomore year.

Hornets Head Coach, Doug Wear, lauded the talented senior, “Samantha Cicerone is one of the most hard-working student athletes I have had the pleasure of coaching. She is a fantastic leader and role model.”

Speaking about Wear, Cicerone said, “The big thing that he always reiterates to us is defense scores our points. I feel like that really reflects what my teammates and I have been able to do the last couple of years, and we have really gotten to a mindset that we are so focused on our skills and our rebounds more so than the points, because that is where we get most of our points from.”

In addition to her family and coach, Cicerone also credits Hanover Park High School Athletic Director, Michael Menditto, for her career success.

Cicerone said, “He’s also been a great influence at Hanover Park for me.”

 

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