By Garrett Rasko-Martinis | The Jersey Journal
August 05, 2014
While her older sister was running through drills and practicing with her team, Andie Lennon was hard at work on the sidelines. Sure, she was just a kid at the time, but that didn’t stop her from practicing her dribbling and listening to every lesson Secaucus recreation coach Mike Pero would impart on her sister, Elise, and her teammates. Andie knew from that day forward that she wanted to play basketball.
She followed in her sister’s footsteps, playing under Pero herself in first grade, before joining the Secaucus basketball team, just like her older sister. And now, the Secaucus rising senior has committed to play at Caldwell University, a Div. II program and her sister’s alma mater.
“My sister Elise went to Caldwell and played volleyball there. I really liked the school, so I went for a visit,” Andie Lennon, a Secaucus resident, said. “I really like that it’s a small school, and it also has a really small student-to-teacher ratio, which I also like. I also love coach (Kristina) Danella, and they have a really good nursing program.
“When Caldwell contacted me, I just thought it was a great fit because it’s close to home and my mom and dad can come watch me play.”
Caldwell head coach Danella, and Lennon’s admiration of her, were big factors in her college decision.
“She is a really good coach, and she was an amazing player. Nothing but good things to say about her — just a really great person,” Lennon said.
Lennon is coming off a strong season where she helped lead the Patriots to a 22-7 record, and also scored her 1,000th career point.
“My team was all there for me, my family was there for me, everyone was there for me and cheering,” she said. “It was just a great accomplishment because that’s what I always dreamed of since I was a little girl.”
She was also recognized as The Star-Ledger’s Week 5 Top Performer in girls basketball after dropping 26 points on Life Center Academy.
She averaged 13.6 points, 3.5 assists and 3.3 steals in 2013-14, and was selected to both the All-Group 1, Second Team and All-Hudson, Second Team. But she is already focused on how she can improve in 2014-15 and help her team grab an elusive championship.
“I need to work on my defense for the college level — need to get a little bit quicker,” she said. “I’m just going to try to get the ball inside, try inside-out with the girls in the post and just going to try and get my team a championship this year.”
Secaucus lost a heartbreaking 60-55 contest to New Providence in the North 2, Group 1 semifinals last season, and also fell to Bayonne, 40-34, in the Hudson County semifinals.
For now, Lennon is focused on this upcoming season, but is still excited to add her talents to the Caldwell program.
“I work hard, I’m a great team player and I want nothing but the best for the team. I try to get everyone involved,” she said. “I just think it’s a great fit. I think coach Danella will help me improve, will help my teammates improve and hopefully we’ll be a great team when I get there.”