Monday February 4, 2013

I was greatly upset by the Jan. 20 article written by Derek Gentile about the Girls Berkshire Hall of Fame induction. I felt it belittled the award and did not fully represent the history of women’s basketball in Berkshire County.

Instead of referring to some off the cuff conversation we had, Mr. Gentile should have been focusing on the amazing history and careers of my fellow inductees and their contribution to the sport. Mr. Gentile also failed to highlight the catalyst to this Hall of Fame, Bob O’Neil, a long-time college coach who supported and pushed for the Hall of Fame to be represented equally to the Men’s Hall of Fame.

Coach O’Neil was a consistent advocate for equality between boys and girls sports at the local level; the Hall of Fame serves as a living legacy to Coach O’Neil and his passion for basketball. Eighteen individuals -- 15 players, two coaches and one contributor -- who have had a tremendous impact on Berkshire County girls’ basketball should have all been mentioned.

This article was a missed opportunity to showcase these amazing individuals and promote women’s basketball and all of the opportunities it can provide to the next generation. Special thanks to the Berkshire County Girls Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors, Betty O’Neil, John Franzoni, RoseMarie Ladley, Tom Kinne, John Vosburgh, Joe Racicot, Bill Barry and Jim Abel. This is indeed an award and honor I will cherish.

LISA BOENITZ-GASTALDI

Isle of Palms, S.C.

The writer is a member of the Lenox High School Class of 1984 and an inductee into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.