BV Prep takes pride in new gym
Charter school plays for first time in own facility
“This is a long time in the making. I’m really happy our seniors get a full season here. They work so hard at practice and during games, and in the classroom, they deserve this.” – BVP coach Ed Laskowski
CUMBERLAND – Even after sustaining a disgruntling 60-28 Injury Fund loss to Davies Tech on Thursday night, Blackstone Valley Prep senior Simone Barros didn’t seem all that upset.
For that matter, neither did fellow senior tricaptains Faith Ramos and Gladis Ricaurte.
For the first time ever, the trio started a game on its own home floor, and the moment wasn’t lost on any of them – or their teammates, coaching staff or fellow members of the student body.
That’s right – BVP now has a brand new high school building, located at 65 Macondray St., and one of the star physical attractions is a sparkling gym, one featuring a vinyl/tartan regulation surface, glass backboards and stands for cheering fans.
On this night, there were well over 100 on hand, which thrilled the Pride players.
“It felt awesome to play on our own home court; we haven’t had that luxury ever,” Barros stated. “For years now, we’ve had to practice at St. James Church in Manville, and we had to take the bus up there every day.”
Ramos admitted the circumstances regarding workouts and/or games were hardly ideal.
“It was such a big pain; not only was it so far away, but we also had to alternate practice sessions with the boys’ team,” she noted. “On some days, we’d be going up to Manville at 5 or (p.m.). The ceilings were really low, some of our shots would hit them, so we’d have to dodge basketballs when they bounced off.
“I have to say it, this is beautiful,” she added. “It’s a great court, and it’s all ours.”
Even Patriots’ veteran mentor Joe Handy chipped in his thoughts.
“I love it; I’m so happy for them,” he grinned. “I think this is a perfect place for a team like this. There was an electric atmosphere before the game, which I’m sure thrilled BVP. For the past few years, I know they had to bus to games and practices; in fact, they played their games at our gym (the Gaskin Alumni Hall).
“They’re so well-coached,, and they’re great, smart and athletic kids. They truly deserve their own home.”
BVP chief Ed Laskowski has coached most of these girls since junior high, so he knows full well the impact of having a new arena just steps away from where the kids attend classes.
“This is a long time in the making,” he sighed, peering around the gym’s perimeter. “I’m really happy our seniors get a full season here. They work so hard at practice and during games, and in the classroom, they deserve this.
“This is all because of what the students, the administration, the staff and the network put into it,” he continued. “They’ve sacrificed a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get this thing done, and we’re so proud. It’s great to see not just the athletes but all the kids reap the benefits. And, with our current seniors, they’re paving the way for the under- classmen who come through and see what a nice place this is.
“Maybe more kids will become interested in this school, and playing basketball, as a result.”
Ricaurte also peered around, taking in the atmosphere as the boys’ squadron prepared to entertain Barrington Christian Academy at 7 p.m.
“You know, this is what we waited for so long; this place is gorgeous,” she said. “The face we had a pep rally before our game, and I think that got all the people pumped up. It was so exciting to hear all the cheers in our own building.”
After playing last season’s home games at Davies Tech, Blackstone Valley Prep christened its new basketball court Thursday night against the Patriots in the Injury Fund. The facility, which is in the Valley Falls section of Cumberland, hosted a pair of contests to start the season.