PITTSFIELD >> Fourteen members were inducted into the fourth class of the Berkshire County Girls Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday at the Berkshire Hills Country Club. Eleven of the new members were inducted as players, one as a coach and two as major contributors to girls basketball.
While each member has a stellar resume on the court, their post-basketball accomplishments are equally impressive.
Taconic's Katie Murray — a 1,000 point scorer and member of the 2010 county championship team — is currently living in Zimbabwe and working with the USDA to improve food safety. Mount Greylock's Karen Rice led her team to two Western Massachusetts tournaments and competed in the Bay State Games during the mid-90s. She's now a Havard-educated psychiatrist living in Colorado.
Drury's Taylor DeSanty led her team to two Berkshire County championships, a Western Mass. final and is the school's all-time leading scorer. Following a prolific career at Colby-Sawyer College, she became social worker.
Regardless of their post-basketball journeys, many of the members credited the tight-knit Berkshire County sports community for molding them into successful adults.
"Everyone here, we all know each other," DeSanty said. "Playing AAU, I got to know a lot of players throughout Berkshire County and we became close. Every time I played against Lee, Hoosac Valley or Pittsfield, I knew the girls because they were my teammates during the summer.
"We had that close bond and we were very competitive on the court, but off the court we were great friends. I have so much respect for everyone that was inducted."
Not only did playing sports provide friendship, but Rice said the supportive atmosphere of sports can play a key role in a child's development as well.
"I've learned in my professional life, as problems start to develop in adulthood, how important childhood is in development," she said. "How much it means to have a supportive family, a validating family and people that give you self confidence. A lot of that for me came through sports."
Current Pittsfield coach Joe Racicot spent years coaching against many members of the Hall of Fame. He became the sixth coach inducted into the Hall of Fame and the first active head coach.
Racicot led the Generals to the Western Mass. final this season, as he completed his 32nd year. He's coached at Taconic and Hoosac Valley, and he's served as an assistant coach at several schools along the way. He's also the co-founder of the Berkshire Blazer AAU team.
"I'm happy I'm part of that group," Racicot said of being inducted into the 2016 class. "I'm not working just on memories, there's a great future ahead. I hope to continue to coach for a long time. ...I can create new memories and I can always fall back on this moment of feeling like we've accomplished something."
Racicot developed strong relationships through his coaching stops at the high school and AAU levels. Myles and Margaret Whitney earned their place in the Hall of Fame because of their contributions at the youth level. They created the Whitney Girls Basketball League — the first girls basketball league in North Adams — helping pave the way for current and future members of the girls Hall of Fame.
There were five players in this year's class with North Adams ties.
Sara Petropulos led the Blue Devils to a 67-13 record during her career. She won North Berkshire championships in 1981, 1982 and 1983. Sara D'Arcangelo scored 1,080 points at Drury. She earned All-Berkshire and All-Western Mass honors during her career.
Heather LaCasse and Heather Malloy were two of the top players in McCann Tech history. LaCasse is the first female player to reach 1,000 points at McCann. She led the Hornets to 70-plus wins and four Tri-County championships. Malloy followed LaCasse, reaching the 1,000 point mark five years later.
Sara Flynn led Taconic to a Berkshire County title in 2006. She scored 1,188 career points.
Hoosac Valley's Kerry Mularcyk progressed from a member of underclass-heavy team to a veteran leader of a 15-6 team as a senior. She was co-winner of the Vi Goodnow award winner and Berkshire County MVP in 1989. She finished with 1,236 points.
Representing South County are newest members Tricia Brown of Mount Everett and Lee's Rachelle Walker.
Brown was the Mount Everett athlete of the year in 1978. She won the Berkshire County MVP in '78, she's a three-time All-Berkshire selection and the first player to score 1,000 points in Everett history.
Walker and Kelly McManmon became a dominant duo for the Wildcats in the early aughts. Walker served as the team's point guard, winning two Western Mass. championships and a earning a state final appearance. She's 20th in Berkshire County with 1,263 points.
Contact Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252