BV Prep takes pride in new gym

Char­ter school plays for first time in own fa­cil­ity

Woonsocket Call - - Front Page - By JON BAKER jbaker@paw­tuck­et­times.com

“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.”

Photo by Ernest A. Brown

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.

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