DALTON — Maria Gamberoni’s 2020-21 basketball season was so strong that we’re still talking about it a year later.
The Berkshires played a county-only season and Gamberoni was the only player to average more than 15 points a game and set a new scoring record at Wahconah as a result. Averaging a hair over 20 points per outing, Gamberoni and the Warriors ruled the county with a perfect 20-0 record.
On Thursday, before the Wahconah girls played Hoosac Valley, Gamberoni returned to Wahconah and was recognized as the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO) 2021 recipient of the Oswald Tower Scholarship. The award is given out annually to a student athlete who excels in the spirit of sportsmanship and leadership on and off the court.
Gamberoni surges past Duquette for record
Gamberoni received the scholarship last spring, but no public ceremony was held until Thursday. In past years the scholarship was awarded during the annual IAABO Board #25 All-Star game.
“It was great,” Gamberoni said of returning to her old stomping grounds. “New court and new building, but it had the same feel. I am glad I got to celebrate it with coach [Liz] Kay.”
The scholarship was named after Tower, who was born in North Adams and served on the National Basketball Rules Committee from 1910 to 1960. He was part of the inaugural class of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959 as a contributor to the game.
After years of ruling the hardwood in Dalton, Gamberoni has spent a bit of time at Wahconah girls basketball practices early in the season and offered some perspective on the next Blue Wave.
“I think the underclassmen are stepping into leadership positions and the energy is high at practice,” she said. “Everyone seems to be having fun and that is what it’s really all about.”