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Saniya Chong commits to UConn

Posted By Carp On October 13, 2012 @ 8:23 pm In Basketball | Comments Disabled

By Rick Carpiniello
rcarpini@lohud.com [1]

OSSINING – On Saturday morning, when UConn women’ basketball coach Geno Auriemma asked Ossining High senior Saniya Chong if she had any questions toward the end of her final official recruiting visit, Chong had just one.

She asked Auriemma when she’d be expected to report for training.

“I feel really excited, relieved as well,” said Chong, who also visited Louisville and Ohio State before committing to UConn Saturday. “I’m just really happy right now. I feel like I really made a good choice. I think it’s the best thing for me.

“All the colleges, basically every college has the same concept. But UConn, I just really fell in love with it – the players, the campus, how close it is to home, the staff, the coach.”

The night before, Chong had told her high school coach, Dan Ricci, “Coach, I’m ready (to commit).

Ricci had been taking Chong and her mom to all her visits. They met with Auriemma at UConn Thursday, went to his house for a team barbecue that night, spent time with the players, and went to class Chong attended a class with UConn senior Bria Hartley. Ricci drove back Friday – he coaches football, and had a Friday night game – then made the trek back to Storrs, where Chong made her decision and then attended a team practice Saturday.

“What she really wanted was what she has in high school – a family-type of setting with the players,” said Ricci (whom Chong calls Uncle Ricci). “She got that from the other schools she visited but she didn’t think she was going to see that at UConn, being that they’re all stars, All-Americans and high-profile players.

“(On Friday) she said, ‘It went really well. Not what I expected. Everybody’s so nice and they get along with each other. It’s great.’”

Ricci believes that Chong will get significant minutes as a freshman next year – she’s one of four guards on the current roster, and UConn uses three-guard set where they all handle the ball – and that her passing and defense will be on display with high caliber teammates.

“Anything’s possible, I guess,” Chong said. “But as long as I work hard – as hard as I worked to get to the position I am in now – we’ll see what happens.”

Chong is one of the greatest offensive players in local high school history. With 2,060 points she will surely break Peekskill’s Sheila Wagner’s Westchester/Putnam/Rockland record of 2,476 points, and FDR-Hyde Park’s Karen O’Connor’s Section 1 record of 2,662, both set in the 1980s this season. Ossining, a two-time Section 1 Class AA champ, is 61-9 in her 70 career games.

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#1 Comment By HAYWOOD On October 13, 2012 @ 9:51 pm


#2 Comment By bballfan3 On October 13, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

Congratulations Saniya your hard work has paid off & you have made a great choice

#3 Comment By intheknow On October 14, 2012 @ 12:57 am

Absolutely. Best of luck girl you deserve it. Hat tip to coach Ricci as well for going the extra mile for Saniya and her mom. Its a great day for Ossining, Section 1, HS Sports in general and particularly Saniya and her family.

#4 Comment By StannerGrad. On October 14, 2012 @ 9:06 am

A tremendous accomplishment! Congratulations.

#5 Comment By Section 9 On October 14, 2012 @ 10:42 am

That is great news. Bria Hartley is just a Junior. The rich just got richer and I love it!!!

#6 Comment By bballfann On October 14, 2012 @ 11:51 am

Congratulations! Looking forward to watching a local girl on the national level!

#7 Comment By north county 24 On October 14, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

Congratulation and best wishes to Ms. Chong, a low maintenance, team first superstar.

#8 Comment By hsbbfan On October 14, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

I already like watching the Lady Husky’s. This is gonna be great watching Stewart, Dolson, Hartley, and now Chong. Cant wait!

#9 Comment By Really On October 14, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

Chong won’t last the year at Conn. trust me my daughter took a class with her and she never did any school work and allways bragged that she didnt have to do the work cause Uncle Dan would play her anyway. LOLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!! P.S. how come Uncle Dan didnt miss the football game like he did the Girls Lax game , I know why they would fire him. Also who is paying for Uncle Dans travels oh I know Ossining Girls Basketball Fund Raising thats who. If I’m wrong Uncle Dan show all the parents the books Uncle Dan.

#10 Comment By bballfan3 On October 14, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

REALLY——- you’re such a pathetic loser, nothing more needs to be said !

#11 Comment By changes On October 14, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

Be happy for the young woman- She earned it-

#12 Comment By hsbbfan On October 14, 2012 @ 10:36 pm

Here we go. Just a matter of time before the jealous losers came out.

#13 Comment By Section 9 On October 14, 2012 @ 10:53 pm


#14 Comment By hsbbfan On October 14, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

This person aways comes on with the negtivity and conspiracy theories. Under different names of course. They stalk the blog . What a loser.

#15 Comment By MitS On October 14, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

Really, comments like yours should not be made anonymously. Those are serious accusations. Glad to know you are happy with yourself for picking on skinny teenage girl.
Please grow a pair before you post again.

#16 Comment By StannerGrad. On October 15, 2012 @ 8:52 am

The headline of this thread is about Ms.Chong’s commitment to attend UCONN. People like “Really” then intentionally make asinine comments presumably to be provocative. The problem is that many of you then respond to him/her which is exactly what he/she knew would happen. I’d suggest that whenever a blogger makes a completely off the charts comment that we all try to simply ignore them. I know that’s not always easy but I think it would usually be for the better.

#17 Comment By MitS On October 15, 2012 @ 11:10 am

Stanner, point well taken.

#18 Comment By Section 1 Parent On October 15, 2012 @ 11:18 am

Congrats Ms. Chong. Well diserved. Section 1 is proud of you.

We know where Lai Martins and Binder are going.

Does anyone know where the other All State, All Section girls are going such as

Maia Hood Hamilton
Jasmine Robinson Hamilton
Toni Pilla Ardsley
Allison Silfen Blind Brook
Briannna Celaj Briarcliff

We wish them all good luck.

#19 Comment By Fan1717 On October 15, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

REALLY where’s your kid going to college WCC or maybe right into a job at Mcdonalds. She probably played lacrosse or basketball and either sat the bench or was cut, lol. Chong Good for you enjoy all 4 years at Uconn and then playing in the WNBA and over seas in Europe.

#20 Comment By Tom Doherty On October 15, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

Great Stuff!

Good luck at U. Conn.

Let the Count-Down began as Saniya chases the other Section One All-Timers on the 2000 Point Club List:

Karen O’Connor, FDR, Hyde Park 1983-87 2,662 Points
Sheila Wagner, Peekskill 1981-86 2,476 Points
Cusena Newton, Hamilton 1982-87 2,384 Points
Margo Hackett, Pawling 2007-11 2,266 Points
Joann Balsamo, Somers 1984-88 2,254 Points
Sandra Gibbons, Gorton 1977-81 2,250 Points
Stephanie Cleary, Tappan Zee 1996-2001 2,155 points
Katryna Gaither, Mount Vernon 1989-93 2,092 Points
Saniya Chong, Ossining 2009- 2,060 Points
Jenna Viani, Lourdes 1996-2002 2,042 Points
Lisa Moray, RC Ketcham, 1998-2004 2021 Points

Credit to John Moriello & the good folks at the NYSSWA for their research!

Go Section One Girls Hoops!

Tom Doherty

#21 Comment By Coach Luck On October 15, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

I would like to congratulate Saniya on her commitment to UCONN.. It is an historic accomplishment for someone from the Westchester area to reach their dream of dreams to go to a University like Conn.. She is going into a winning program while coming from a winning program.. Congrats to the Chongs, Bryan Williams(who has been the lightning rod of criticism for Predicting she would go to UCONN when she was a freshmen..), Coach Ricci, Ossining HS, Westchester Hoopers (Her original AAU team) and the Hudson River Breeze.. Be proud 845/914. For you ladies that are thinking she made it, this is only the first step, but it shows you how hard u have to work to achieve the goals u set out for yourselF.. Congrats again, and I am Personally Very PROUD OF HER!!!

#22 Comment By Mountie Hoops On October 15, 2012 @ 7:04 pm

Nice comments Luck, Dan Wood

#23 Comment By changes On October 15, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

it is an exciting time for Ossining- Saniya’s success is just icing on the cake- thank you coaches, parents and teachers for all you do at OHS- it is a happy diverse place and the positive energy is everywhere- have a great Homecoming week, I can’t wait to join the celebration on Friday night!

#24 Comment By StannerGrad. On October 15, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

@changes, I presume your intent is positive but your comments focus on only ONE high school and ONE particular community. Positive energy, diversity and great homecomings happen all over Section One and we should extend kudos to coaches, parents and teachers in all of the school districts in which these events occur. (lest anyone accuse me of being a hater please read my previous posts) Again, congratulations to Ms. Chong and to all who have been involved in her success.

#25 Comment By changes On October 15, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

Really?! Stanner. Must you always find problems with other’s posts. And it is not presumed positive- it is- GO O!

#26 Comment By hsbbfan On October 16, 2012 @ 12:39 am

Of course there are positive things happening at many schools and communities. I think what changes is referring to is the specific experience at Oss. Specifically, this friday is homecoming and I’m sure Saniya will be on the football sideline as she always is. I’m sure she will get announced, congratulated and receive a standing ovation. This is truly a great time for her, her family and the Ossining community, which she is an integral part of. It does not take away or diminish any other school or community and I do not believe that is what changes implied.

#27 Comment By StannerGrad. On October 16, 2012 @ 9:37 am

@hs, Fair point.

#28 Comment By hsbbfan On October 16, 2012 @ 1:27 pm


#29 Comment By Bballfan3 On October 18, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

That was a great interview by Saniya Chong & coach Ricci on MSG varsity last night, very excited for her

#30 Comment By use your real name On October 18, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

please, Coach – it’s ok to pat yourself on the back – just USE YOUR OWN NAME

#31 Comment By bballfan3 On October 18, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

to use your own name, take your own advice and FYI, I am not a coach just a mom who happens to enjoy watching basketball games. This is a basketball blog correct? So why are you on here since you clearly have nothing worth saying about the game?

#32 Comment By hsbbfan On October 18, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

I agree

#33 Comment By Question 1 On October 19, 2012 @ 10:58 am

Question, why is Ricci so involved. Where are her parents. Selection of a college is a family matter. Selection of college is about her. Not Ricci. This is a great moment and acheivement for Saniya. Why is Ricci there all the time. It is not about him. Let Soniya have her time.

#34 Comment By Big Bunk On October 19, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

I agree with you 100%, Question 1!

#35 Comment By Big Bunk On October 19, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

Congrats, Saniya Chong, Good job!

#36 Comment By hsbbfan On October 19, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

I can answer that “Question” as I know them both. Her parents are absolutely involved. Particularly her mom. She goes everywhere with Saniya in terms of athletics/academics. Coach Ricci has been a tremendous help to them as he is for all of his student athletes. He made no decisions for her. This happened to be a national recruiting situation so she was bombarded over the past 2/3 years. He helped deflect the craziness, sent out her films, made calls on her behalf and yes, went on the important visits with her and her mom. at their request i might add. And at his own expense, in spite of what some naysayer said.

The “question” I have is, why aren’t more coaches like this? I remember when my kid played we were lucky to have the coach send a film out. Never mind make a call. This is a great story all around. Impossible to find anything wrong with it. Try as yo must. Of course none of it would be possible if the kid didn’t have the talent and the dedication that she did. Her parents played a huge part. And they raised a great athlete and a great kid.

#37 Comment By bballfan3 On October 19, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

Well said hsbbfan, I also know 1st hand that coach Ricci was just as involved in the process as Saniya and her family wanted him to be. And before some someone goes and writes that I am a coach again, let me say I am just a fan of the sport and this team in particular being from Ossining. I am looking forward to a great season for the OHS girls team, the whole team.

#38 Comment By StannerGrad. On October 19, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

Does anyone have any insight into Ossining’s schedule this year?

#39 Comment By ChiefWildEagle On October 19, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

@ Question 1: I have a question for you. I will call it question 2.

Have you ever heard of a point of punctuation called a question
mark? It looks like this: ”?”! As you are “Question 1” it would
be great if you become familiar with it.

#40 Comment By StannerGrad. On October 19, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

Are they playing any out of state games other than Florida?

#41 Comment By ChiefWildEagle On October 20, 2012 @ 12:00 am

Stanner, I do not think they are going to Florida at all this year.
The Nike tourney is in Arizona I believe and I am pretty sure they are going to the Garden State again. I could be wrong, hopefully hsbbfan or someone else closer to the program than myself can give better info.
They do open the season at home against, you guessed it, the Lady Stanners.

#42 Comment By hsbbfan On October 20, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

I know there is a Philadelphia team coming up. I will see what I can find out.

#43 Comment By Cookies On October 20, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

Great interview by Saniya the other night on MSG varsity. Looks like coach is eating Oreos and chips ahoy again rather than his weight loss cookies!

#44 Comment By intheknow On October 20, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

That’s mature.

#45 Comment By Question On October 28, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

Can anyone tell me if. Coach Ricci was supposed to coach at the metro classic today? I thought he was coaching with Riley…buts since. Chong didn’t go and play he doesn’t go coach the other girls? Is that true…......

#46 Comment By Holla! On October 29, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

Just about 2 weeks till 1st tryouts – lots of info coming in for the upcoming season..have been checking with all my Rockland sources and once the section 1 schedules are finalized will throw out my honest/ unbiased Rockland predictions

#47 Comment By hsbbfan On November 2, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

Here are Ossining’s out of state and otherwise notable games, as requested: Archbishop Molloy (H), Newburgh Free Academy (H), St Anthony’s (CC Slam Dunk), LI Lutheran/Irvington (Slam Dunk), Christ the King (H), Alexander Hamilton (AH), Norland Florida (Bishop Ford), St John Vianney NJ (Holmdel, NJ), Spring Ford PA (H), Irvington (H).

#48 Comment By ChiefWildEagle On November 2, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

That is one heck of a schedule so far. What happened to the trip to the Nike tournament?

#49 Comment By rockland On November 3, 2012 @ 9:48 am

Hsbbfan- that’s a nice schedule/lots of quality comp-should get Ossining ready for a deep run into the state playoffs

Holla-have you heard who’s coaching the ERamape SD team(comprised of Spring Valley and Ramapo HS)?

Looks like 9 days to official practice/tryouts start. Good luck girls

#50 Comment By StannerGrad. On November 3, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

Tremendous schedule! Lady Stanners have Tatum and Gallagher back for their Senior seasons and an excellent Freshman I’m told. Can’t wait to see that one and the CTK game. Nice job by Ricci and the AD.

#51 Comment By Question On November 4, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

Not at all impressed with Gallagher..saw her play in metro classic…..

#52 Comment By NewRo Fan On November 5, 2012 @ 11:56 am

Does the Journal News (or any other publication) ever post a preseason review of the section 1 and 9 HS teams (ranking, players to watch, etc)? – thanks in advance for any info.

#53 Comment By Answer On November 5, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

Journal News has historically printed a review of teams and key players. Until last year the content was comprehensive and complete. Last year the article was very weak, and most fans and readers, were very dissapointed. I think enough readers wrote in complaing that this year the expectation is that the Journal News will go back to its comprehensive and complete preview. I think it used to cover two pages of print. Last year was just a half of page.

#54 Comment By Holla! On November 5, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

In past years yes..last year no..I think some reasons was that no one was assigned to cover the girls game in the beginning last year…questionarres were sent out to all section 1 coaches about returning players,strengths,projections but the majority of the responses weren’t used…I think on a whole every year the JN news coverage of hs sports(especially girls) has gotten worse..sometimes it’s better to just get MSG coverage ( love the effort and passion of that devaney guy)

#55 Comment By NewRo Fan On November 5, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

Thanks for the info – I will continue to check here and MSG Varsity as suggested – good luck to all the girls this year!

#56 Comment By Support Section 1 Coverage On November 5, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

Holla, right on. MSG blows away Journal News. DeVaney is terrific. Journal News should be embarrased by last year’s coverage. We should all cancel our subscriptions unless the Journal News goes back to its coverage as provided in prior years. The old previews had pages of predictions and analysis. Last year sucked.

#57 Comment By Bball28 On November 5, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

I agree, it would be great to have a preview of the girls teams for this year with a lot more indepth coverage of each Class and team.

#58 Comment By Holla! On November 6, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

Now Josh does a good job covering varsity insider( football / boys basketball) and mike doughty does a nice job on the hockey blog but Kevin Devaney does it all he covers all sports and vie personally seen him at hockey,football,baseball,and girls basketball ( he even showed up at section 1 exceptional senior ball game in 2012 when most others gave it no press) if all the reporters worked like KD we would have no complaints

#59 Comment By Holla! On November 6, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

6 days till section 1 hoops.
2012-13 rockland predictions
Small school division
T1)pearl river
Big school division
2)north rock
3)cl north
5)east ramapo.

#60 Comment By Holla! On November 6, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

Best coach..L.Moylan(pr)
MVP ..small school -M.Paehus(AM)

Big school- L.Castaldo(cl south)

#61 Comment By hsbbfan On November 6, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

Nike tourn still on sched for late Dec. i do not know who they are playing. If
I find out I will post.

#62 Comment By StannerGrad. On November 7, 2012 @ 9:28 am

Where is the Nike tourney held?

#63 Comment By Rockland On November 7, 2012 @ 11:13 am

@stanner grad…isn’t that the tournament held in Orlando ( Disney) every year?

#64 Comment By Rockland On November 7, 2012 @ 11:16 am

@stanner. Over Xmas break

#65 Comment By StannerGrad. On November 7, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

An earlier post stated that the Nike is in Arizona.

#66 Comment By Rockland On November 7, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

Ok gotcha…didn’t see that

#67 Comment By hsbbfan On November 8, 2012 @ 1:41 am

Yes Arizona over Christmas

#68 Comment By rockland On November 9, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

Holla -when are u going to put your review up? Just wondering-enjoy seeing peoples opinions(isn’t that what blogs are for?) Just hope its positive(as well as other peoplles post-as its a high school girls bball blog and should be)

#69 Comment By Holla! On November 9, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

Not here to slam any girls….after a few years working Rockland games and knowing some of the coaches have some insights and look forward to the coming year…big fan!

#70 Comment By hanlon fan On November 10, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

Looks like some of the local girls are starting college on the right foot. Kim Hanlon had a big game in a losing effort. Asia Jackson is starting for Hofstra and Sofia Roman had some decent playing time for Dartmouth. I’m excited about watching these woman play this season.

#71 Comment By coach Luck On November 10, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

I am so excited for the girls @hanlon fan… They are excellent students and athletically will represent the Westchester Area very well!!!

#72 Comment By Holla! On November 11, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

Well Sunday nite,Tom morning- afternoon section 1 girls will start there road to the county center…AA will be O town, A ?,B.Irvington…I will be keeping an eye on Rockland girls and while I have no horse in the race,will be cheering for my cousins daughter( nr) but as you will see from preview no favorites

#73 Comment By Rumor WIllis On November 14, 2012 @ 11:12 am

Rumor has it Hamilton landed a top Transfer, their 3rd transfer in 2 years!!

She is better then Maia Hood, wayyyy better!!!!!!!!!!!!

With this girl Tiffany Carselli and Maia, they gonna be state champs

#74 Comment By @rumor willis On November 14, 2012 @ 11:33 am

It has been asked a few times on here..is Mia playing? And don’t get all full of yourself. Winning states in class F( that’s the class there in right?) is the easiest of all the classes..let them beat the ossinings,the irvington’s,mount vernons,pearl river etc,etc before you go all primal beating your chest

#75 Comment By ballboy On November 14, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

Any word on who the new coach is at Brewster?

#76 Comment By bbaal28 On November 14, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

Any news on the new coach at Kennedy Catholic?

#77 Comment By Straight Talk On November 14, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

Rumor Willis. Who cares about Hamilton and you are proud that your school district can bring in transfers and build a team. This is a public school league. This is not AAU or catholic or private schools. You are talking about buying a high school team. Big deal. Who cares. Be proud of the schools that build a program with kids who attend their schools and are home grown in the district. You are fool A reall fool. I hope your coach complies with the rules. I also see people on this blog suggested section 1 investigate Hamilton for its pracitices.

#78 Comment By BBall On November 14, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

Where is Mia Hood going to play in college?

#79 Comment By Mia will do Fine! On November 15, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

She is a top student,good student/citizen( her parents are 100% class and raised a good kid)and will attend a solid D1 or D2 program

#80 Comment By Mia will do Fine! On November 15, 2012 @ 11:20 pm

And yes that was posted by a non Hamilton parent / just a fan- friend

#81 Comment By hsbbfan On November 16, 2012 @ 8:12 am

If youre a friend why are you calling her Mia?

#82 Comment By Ossining #1 science program in country! On November 24, 2012 @ 8:57 am

Go Ossining!

#83 Comment By Ossining #1 Science program in the country! On November 24, 2012 @ 9:01 am

Go Saniya!

#84 Comment By PRIDEFUL MAN On December 1, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

We’re off to the races with Girls Basketball! Yes I am an Ossining Fan and Proud of It. The naysayers speak and the kids produce that’s a great combo. Keep saying all the negatives people and we Ossining Fans will just enjoy game after game watching THE PRIDE in their quest for a state championship. These kids have worked 4 or more years together to reach that goal and I for one would love to see them accomplish that! They are not only a team but a very close family and I am Proud to say I am an Ossining Fan!

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