2022 NHS graduate Adriana Romano, picture at the Class L state championship game at Mohegan Sun, will play basketball at Nichols College in Massachusetts.
Adriana Romano, a 2022 graduate of Newington High School, will continue her academic and athletic journey at Nichols College.
Romano said she went to a basketball showcase in Massachusetts and received a call from the coaching staff at Nichols almost immediately after the showcase ended.
“I went to view the campus and I really liked it a lot and met some of the players. It immediately felt like home,” recalled Romano.
Newington head coach Marc Tancredi, who took over the program when Romano was a freshman, praised her for her “passion for the game” and being an adaptable, team-first player.
“We asked Adriana to play different roles throughout her career,” added Tancredi “Whenever her role did change, she didn't complain or shy away from the challenge, she looked to excel where the team needed her to.”
The last two years haven’t been easy for Romano, who missed the end of her junior season after a bout with Covid and sustained a right ankle injury during her senior season which caused her to miss games in the latter part of the season.
She was able to return and saw action in the championship game at Mohegan Sun where the Nor’easters wrapped up a historic season.
Last winter the team won a program-high 25 games, advancing to the state championship for the first time. The previous season the team went undefeated, finishing 15-0 and winning the conference during a condensed season.
Romano described the team as “a family”, adding, “Everybody had the same goal, which was to make it to Mohegan, and we accomplished that goal. We all held each other accountable for everything because we knew everybody's role on the team and everyone had to step up if we wanted to be the great team that we were.”
Romano was equally impressive on both ends of the court, finishing her junior year averaging the second most points on the team and last season she finished as one of the team’s leaders in steals per game.
She also served as a leader from the sidelines for her teammates, saying, “Even if I wasn’t on the court I wanted to make an impact somehow.”
Because of the games she missed over the last two seasons, she looks at her next basketball opportunity as a chance at redemption.
“Getting hurt and having all those complications makes me want to do more out there and finish what I started,” Romano added.
She began playing basketball competitively in the third grade and she said it’s a sport that “she has never lost the love for.”
“It takes my mind off of everything and keeps me distracted and focused on a goal,” added Romano, who joked the game also keeps her out of trouble.
Romano also earned multiple nicknames during her time playing in Newington.
She was known to her teammates at ‘Nacho’ because she wore a t-shirt to a travel team practice in the sixth grade and classmate Arianna Barnes gave her the moniker, which has stuck ever since.
Tancredi said that he and the coaching staff referred to her as ‘Kemba’ because her craftiness with the ball and ability to score in the paint against taller defenders reminded them of UConn basketball legend and NBA superstar Kemba Walker.
At NHS, she was part of the Italian National Honor Society and Student Council. In her downtime she enjoys spending time in nature, running or hiking in the great outdoors.
At her next stop, she will join a Bison program in Dudley, Mass. and plan to study business.
Romano said she is looking forward to “getting a great education and playing basketball” while becoming “more independent and learning more about myself.”
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin