With the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men’s and women’s basketball regular season coming to a conclusion, Norwich athletes Aliah Curry and Josh Cabrera are the 2012-2013 leading scorers for the Norwich University’s men and women basketball program.
Better than that, each has reached basketball’s special thousand-point mark.
And, according to GNAC athletic information, along with the 1,000-point milestone, Curry set a record for the GNAC women’s history books by getting there in two years.
“If you know anything about basketball and understand the love of the game, then you would know that scoring a thousand points is a big deal for student athletes all around the country. Scoring a thousand points in the basketball community means that you are an extraordinary and talented athlete on the basketball court,” said Antonio Davis, a 2012 Norwich graduate and former basketball forward, from New Albany, N.Y.
“Scoring one thousand points is a special moment for leading scorers and basketball programs, because it can’t be accomplished by everyone who plays the game,” Davis said. “Win, lose, home or away, if you score one thousand points in the (GNAC) you are automatically recognized after the game and congratulated for your achievements amongst fans and competitor. It’s a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tradition to pay homage to the student athletes and their achievements.”
Cabrera, a 21-year-old captain and shooting guard, is a mathematics major from Providence, R.I. in his senior year.
“It is an honor and means a lot to join the one-thousand point club, because I didn’t score one thousand points during my high school career. So to do it in my collegiate career is a big stepping stone for me,” he said.
“All the off-season individual workouts with Coach John Cavanaugh, Bryan Doyle, Chris Herren and Dave Dubuc, have really improved my game and made me a better player,” Cabrera said, noting all of the extra practice time he and his mentors have put in working on his game. “A lot of hard work and support from the coaching staff gave me a chance to write my own chapter in Norwich history and I’m grateful for that.”
Cabrera reached the milestone Jan. 21 when he scored 17 points in a home game against Boston’s Suffolk College. With a minute left in the final half, he hit a layup to hit the one-thousandth point mark.
A week later, on Feb. 2, Curry, a sophomore guard and sports medicine major from Windsor, Mass., scored her one-thousandth career point at home against Boston’s Anna Maria College. Curry’s layup against the wildcats made her the 75th woman in the GNAC history to reach the thousand point plateau.
“It is an exciting new feeling and just like with anything in life, scoring one thousand points is not easy and it would not be possible without my teammates,” said Curry. “My teammates and the coaches’ system make it possible to score as many points as I do.”
Curry has scored 533 points this season and is averaging 23.2 points per game. Cabrera has scored 342 points this season and is averaging 15.5 points per game.
Both players garner praise for their attitude and skills.
“Josh is a great person on and off the court,” said former high school head coach, John Cavanaugh. “Josh is a coach’s player; he is loyal and dedicated to his craft. Josh’s actions speak louder than words and his actions are what make him a great leader.”
“Ever since Josh graduated high school he has always made it a priority to work out during vacation or summer break. Josh comes home and tries to get better on ball handling, shooting, and all the mechanics in order to come back and compete in NCAA play,” Cavanaugh added.
Cabrera’s milestone has come despite some rough patches. “My basketball career has been a tough one, I injured my knee my sophomore season. I broke my finger my senior season and had to return as a fifth year to finish my career. So the road to the one thousand point mark was no smooth sailing. Sitting on the sideline, I learned a lot about basketball mentally, which in turn, has helped my style of play physically on the court,” Cabrera said.
Cabrera has watched Curry reach her milestone and is full of praise for her effort.
“Scoring a thousand points is usually a senior achievement and for Aliah to do it as a sophomore is just mind-blowing,” Cabrera said of his women’s team counterpart. “Aliah is a fighter and a gifted shooter I hope she scores two thousand points at the end of her collegiate career and becomes the GNAC’s best women’s basketball player ever.”
Curry scored 473 points as a rookie in last year’s 2010-2011 basketball seasons. Curry’s 533 points this season has made her the first woman in GNAC and Norwich history to score one thousand points in just two years of career play.
“It is really motivating to hear Josh speaking so highly of me, because his name speaks volumes amongst the Norwich program. He is a three year captain and I admire his shooting capability and his heart. He is a model of what the Norwich basketball program stands for,” said Curry.
“As far as scoring two thousand points before I graduate, only time will tell, I can only take it one game at a time and feed off the energy of my team mates because without them the thought of scoring two thousand points would be impossible,” added Curry.
The GNAC women’s all time leading scoring record, is currently held by Albertuse Magnus, class of ‘05 graduate Natalia Perlaza. Who scored 1570 points in a sum of four years according to Albertus Magnus hall of fame website.