Assistant Sports Editor
The University’s top athlete last weekend started the season as a backup.
Women’s basketball’s Sofia Recupero saw 26 minutes off the bench in the Lady Royals’ 64-52 win over King’s College on Friday. During that time, the sophomore forward managed 21 points on 9-13 shooting and seven rebounds.
Recupero added four more points in a 78-43 victory at Wilkes University the following day as the Lady Royals swept the Cross-County Challenge and improved to 2-0.
Her breakout performance earned her The University’s Athlete of the Week honors. Recupero and the Lady Royals face Neumann College next 7 p.m. Monday in the John Long Center.
Q: How did you score 21 points Friday?
A: I honestly didn’t even know that I scored that much. I kind of had an idea that it was up there, but when I play against teams that coach says we’re going to have a big post matchup, it’s going to come from the post, we’re going to work inside to out, I just figure I need to get myself together and I would just look for every chance I had to score. As a girl at 6-foot-2 playing against a majority of girls who are 5-foot-9 on that team, I just took full advantage of that. And I wanted to prove to myself to everyone that as a sophomore I can still take the shoes of the girls who left last year.
Q: What was it like getting your first start Saturday?
A: It was kind of surreal. I’ve been waiting for that moment since I was a little freshman last year and playing against Alexix Roman, and everyday just waiting for my time to come, and it finally came and I was like, “whoa.” I kind of had to take a step back to realize I’m actually starting. But I’ve worked for it and it as kind of nice to finally get to start, but at the same time I don’t think the starting spot is as important this year. I think everyone has an equal role on the team and anyone can start any game this year, so I’m not taking it for granted.
Q: What do you hope to bring to the team going forward?
A: Just be a more prominent big girl in the paint, more of someone to rely on, like if they shoot they know someone’s there to catch their rebounds and they know that they can get the ball into someone and I’ll be there to pass it to them. I love looking for people to pass to before I actually go myself. Just for someone they can rely on and also being a teammate for when someone’s down and need to be up.
Q: Why did you choose to be Lady Royal?
A: I actually didn’t even know Scranton existed my senior year of high school. Going into my AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) season, it was my last big tournament, and Coach (Woodruff) saw me, and I kind of knew he liked me because I saw this purple shirt at every single game, and I got a call from him later that day and I looked of the school and it actually had nursing, which was something I always wanted to do, and I realized the program was well accredited. Then I visited Coach and stayed overnight with the team, and ever since then I just felt like I fit in with all the girls, they fit my personality so well. Knowing that I came from a high school that didn’t win much and then coming to a team that’s so well-known and always known to win and do well is awesome. Everything just fit what I wanted.
Q: What is your favorite basketball memory?
A: The conference championship last year. Because of the fact that we lost to Catholic the game before that and then beat them on their home court, just running on that court and feeling that emotion was awesome. I’ve never really won a championship in high school, so it was my first being a part of something like that. It was awesome.
Q: Who is the funniest girl on the team?
A: Katie Feehery.
Q: Who is your mentor?
A: Either my dad or my high school coach had a really big impact on how I grew up and played. My AAU coach was my high school coach’s dad so both of them together kind of pushed me in the right direction.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A: My dad told me, “When hard work beats talent, talent fails to work hard.” My coach is very big on that, too. Even if you don’t have talent, the hard work is always going to be there. That kind of got me through all of life. Tests, basketball, everything. If I don’t work hard, it’s not going to work in my favor.