By Gabriel Lorenzo.
Freshmen guard for the Lighting Women’s Basketball team Amely del Rosario was named Rookie of the Year for the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Metro Region.
“Too many people take rookie and player of the year for granted,” said del Rosario. “[If] you got rookie of the year that means you’re doing something right, which means you have to strive harder to be player of the year, MVP, and stuff like that.”
On the court, del Rosario is known for her aggressive style of play. “Little Al” averaged 19.8 points per game while starting in each of the 25 games of the season, scoring double figures in 24 of them.
She averaged 3.7 steals a game, was ranked ninth highest in the entire Division III in the United States, and won Rookie of the Week seven times throughout the season helping the Lehman Lightning Women’s Basketball team clinch the Division III Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships.
Basketball runs in the family. Del Rosario said she gets the best advice from her parents.
A Bronx native with Dominican parents, del Rosario and her older brother Justin share a very common hobby with them: Del Rosario’s mother played basketball in the Dominican Republic, and her father played professionally. Justin played at Fulton-Montgomery Community College in upstate New York.
Del Rosario said her mother is her role model. “She’s awesome. She’s the man,” she said laughing. She said that her mother pushes her to play her game and not stop striving, and makes sure del Rosario does not neglect her school work.
Her father believes his daughter is already great, but he expects her to be greater than great. “My dad is more like, ‘You played your game but don’t let nobody take you out of it. When you go pro you do this, then you do that,’” del Rosario said.
Little AI is already a nursing major seeking to go into pediatrics.
Del Rosario’s schedule consists of classes in the morning followed by practice in the Apex. Even while off the court, she still is thinking about basketball and her future road to success.
But del Rosario’s success in the court does not come from her family alone. She says her amazing teammates give her that extra push to put her over the top. “My teammates push me especially when I go to the weight room and I do nothing,” said del Rosario. “Then, they come in and they are like, ‘Why you just sitting there?’”
She shoots a lot. “I usually try to get somebody thats bigger than me to play with me so that I could get used to shooting over them,” she said. “[The coach] actually tells me to stop so I could rest. He wants me to rest, but he is doing it so I don’t work too hard [and] pull something.”
Del Rosario does have big plans for her future on the court. “On the court I’m hoping after college I go pro, or somewhere where I get paid to play,” she said. “I actually do want to play in Germany or Greece.”
“I want to go to the NCAA tournament and win. I want coach to win coach of the year; I want my whole team to be on the first team all star. I want it to say Lehman, Lehman, Lehman, Lehman, Lehman running down the whole list,” she said.
She admires Diana Taurasi of the WNBA Phoenix Mercury as well as Cappie Pondexter of the New York Liberty. “Taurasi is one of my favorite shooting guards. She just doesn’t care and plays hard every game. She has the attitude of, ‘This is my court and my game.’”
She thinks Steve Novak is one of the best low radar players in the NBA and talks about how people often overlook him. “I like people who are under the radar. You come in, shoot some threes, then sit him down,” she said. “Novak is God.” Though Novak is no longer with her favorite team, she still watches them like any real die-hard fan would.
A Knicks fan, she also likes the Heat and the Lakers, but she won’t miss a Knicks game. “Carmelo can be a hot head sometimes. Sometimes he needs to pass the ball. Don’t get me wrong. Carmelo is nice. He can dribble. He can shoot. He can take anybody off of the first move,” she said. “That’s what coach tells me all the time too. There are times you can be a distributor. There are times you can be a scorer. Sometimes you can be a defensive player, but you gotta balance it out.”
Critiquing her own game, Del Rosario said, “I’m not gonna lie. I’m a scorer. I’m not a ballhog. I look to pass but it’s just sometimes I think, ‘Maybe I should take this shot,’” she said. “I’m starting to see that maybe I should be more of a distributor being that people are already looking to come at me. There is always going to be an open player. There’s always that extra pass.
Del Rosario to leave a legacy at Lehman. “I do actually want to get Player of the Year for the next three years,” she said. “Until I graduate, I want Player of the Year.”