Broadfording honors its top girls hoops scorers

February 07, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN |
  • Six of the nine players to score more than 1,000 points for the Broadfording Christian Academy girls basketball team were on hand for the unveiling of a banner honoring their achievement Friday night. From left, Dee Brown, Kisha Gonzales, Vanessa Ruffin, Katie Connolly, Tina Conner-Snyder and B'nai Holt.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — They are nine women, each with their own unique story, yet all sharing a common bond.

On Friday night, that bond became a banner which will hang above the main entrance to the Broadfording Christian Academy gymnasium. It’s a banner with the names of eight of those nine women who make up the Lions’ 1,000-point club.

Six of them were on hand to be honored Friday night, with longtime coach Dana Gonzales calling them on to the floor — just like he called them all from the bench at one time.

· Kisha Gonzales graduated Broadfording in 1997 as Washington County’s all-time scoring leader with 2,450 points, a mark she still holds. An even bigger mark may be the one her coach — who doubles as her father — left on her.

“Playing for Dad was the best time of my life,” Kisha Gonzales said. “I honestly wouldn’t have played for anyone but Dad. We cherished playing basketball here. All of us girls are still friends.”

After graduation, Gonzales played one season at Hagerstown Community College before giving birth to the first of her five children — Deaundre Gonzales, now 12, will carry on the family tradition as a member of the Lions’ varsity basketball team in a couple years.

Kisha Gonzales has worked for Bank of America for 12 years, lives in Waynesboro and is currently engaged.

· Vanessa Ruffin graduated in 2002 with 2,370 points to her name at Broadfording. After playing one season at the University of Maryland and three more at Loyola following a transfer, Ruffin took her current job running the day-care and preschool at the Waynesboro YMCA — where her basketball career came full-circle when she coached a team of fifth- and sixth-grade girls for a season.

“A phrase Mr. G always used to say to us that I found myself saying was, ‘Keep your head in the game!’” Ruffin said. “Mr. G taught me everything, and it worked out for the best for me.”

· Tina Conner-Snyder graduated in 2006 after scoring 1,400 points in a Lions jersey.

“I learned responsibility, how to be a hard worker and how to show leadership on and off the court,” Conner-Snyder said. “I really miss the tournaments we went to, where we got to spend time together as a team and bond.”

Conner-Snyder experienced another milestone recently — the birth of her first son, who’s 10 weeks old. She’s married and works as a physical therapist at HomeCare Rehab and Wellness in Frederick.

“All these girls were amazing players and people,” Conner-Snyder said. “To spend time with them again is cool.”

· Dee Brown scored 1,193 points at Broadfording before graduating in 2003. She played at HCC for two seasons, and currently works as an activities coordinator for a private day-care center in Frederick.

“We learned how to be a leader ... and how to be a family on and off the court and how to be there for each other,” said Brown, who still plays in women’s leagues in Westminster and Frederick.

· Sisters Bianca Holt and B’Nai Holt each joined the 1,000-point club within two years of each other. Bianca — who was not in attendance Friday — scored 1,178 points before graduating in 1999. B’Nai graduated in 2001 after scoring 1,119 points.

“Determination,” B’Nai Holt said when asked what she learned during her playing career. “I always think it’s the fourth quarter and I’ve got to keep going when things are hard.”

That’s served her well as she pursues her nursing degree at HCC while working at Loyalton of Hagerstown’s Emeritus Senior Living center.

· Lions junior Katie Connolly is the newest member of Broadfording’s 1,000-point club, passing the mark against New Life earlier this season. She still has her senior season to see how high on the list she can climb — after which her name will be added to the banner.

“It’s something to look forward to,” Connolly said. “It was really special to see all the girls. I remember being in eighth grade, I wanted Tina’s number. In second grade, I saw (Ruffin and Brown) play, and I looked forward to being on the team.”

· Denise Angle — Broadfording’s first 1,000-point scorer — and Vennece Fowlkes did not attend the ceremony.

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