HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – New Rochelle’s Alyse La Padula, who was a standout three-sport athlete Purchase College, has been named girls’ varsity basketball coach at Hastings High School.
“I spent countless hours submitting copies of my resume and cover letters to jobs all over the U.S., Canada, and I believe even England,” La Padula said. “In my fourth season with the WBA Lady Knicks (Westchester AAU program) I had met two Hastings varsity players who told me to keep their high school in mind if anything ever opened up. So, when the position opened up, I went for it.”
La Padula, who played soccer, softball and basketball at Purchase before graduating this year, was also a standout athlete in local AAU basketball and at New Rochelle High School, where she said she learned what it takes to be a coach.
“I absolutely have to give credit to Luke Vaccaro and Jerry Fioretti of the WBA Lady Knicks, Bruce Daniele, my high school coach, his assistant Rob Bynum and Albana Krasniqi, my college softball coach at SUNY Purchase,” La Padula said. “And over my five years of coaching AAU basketball, coaching became a new passion for me.”
Hastings showed promise last season and returns a young group of players who had a record of 9-11. La Padula trusts that her experience playing the game and her youth will help her relate to her new team.
“Our closeness in age absolutely helps our chances of communicating effectively,” the first-year coach said. “There are a lot of the things they might be going through now as student-athletes, or even as young ladies, that I went through or am still going through. In my opinion, being closer to them in age makes my stories and experiences easier to relate to.”
As for her plans to remake the Yellow Jackets into winners, La Padula is looking forward to installing her program.
“I am looking to completely change our approach through reworking our thoughts and actions to be as positive as possible,” she said. “We will be eager to achieve both small and large goals, the smallest being as simple as increasing our team chemistry and the largest being, of course, a league championship and Gold Ball (Section 1 championship).”
La Padula said some of her key goals will be to establish team cohesion and add a positive approach with each practice and game, and to improve the team’s physical and mental approach, stress fundamentals and have fun.
“Our overall philosophy consists of playing every day for each other and also making sure our work ethic meets our aspirations,” La Padula said.