According to Sacred Heart Athletics, women’s basketball guard Adrianne Hagood, or “Dri-Dri,” was named to the Preseason All-Northeast Conference (NEC) Team for the 2020-21 season.
The NEC gives two sets of awards each season: preseason and postseason. The Preseason All-NEC Team award is given to the top five players in the league to look out for during the season.
According to Jessica Mannetti, the women’s head basketball coach, the preseason award is decided by coaches in the league. However, coaches are not allowed to vote for their own players.
“Winning the award gives me some motivation to play well and do well for other people. If they believe in me, I have to believe in myself,” said Hagood.
Hagood is a senior at Sacred Heart and started playing basketball when she was in third grade. She had played other sports but ultimately stuck with basketball because the competitive nature of the sport resonated with her. She remarked that she used to play with boys, which contributed to her fiercely competitive nature.
When Hagood entered middle school, she got into the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and travel basketball as well as started working with several different trainers. By the time she was a freshman in high school, she had made varsity.
With college coming up, Hagood had to get her grades up in order to be eligible for a scholarship so she could continue playing basketball at the collegiate level.
“Dri-Dri was a very talented, very sought-after recruit her junior year,” said Mannetti.
Manetti had told Hagood that they couldn’t guarantee her admission to the school due to her academics, but if she were to take them seriously, they would reconvene in the fall.
Hagood ended up not playing basketball the entire summer in the hopes that she would be able to get a scholarship. She ended the summer with all A’s.
“The coaches and I were able then, that fall, to go to our admissions and say this is what this kid did. These are the sacrifices she made; this is how important it is for her to come here,” said Mannetti. “We were able to work with admissions. We got her in and she’s been thriving ever since.”
Since being at SHU, Hagood has won All-NEC rookie team as a freshman, All-NEC Third Team as a sophomore, All-NEC Second Team as a junior, and Preseason All-NEC First Team this preseason as a senior. She hopes to win All-NEC First Team and to score 1,000 points for her career, which is only 21 points aw
With COVID-19 impacting sports, the team is required to conduct practice in pods of four or eight that practice separately, which is cause for a bit of challenge in such a teamwork-oriented sport like basketball. As the weeks went on, the university altered the guideline to allow for more and more players and eventually the full team.
Soon after this alteration, the team was exposed to COVID-19 and had to shut down all practices for two weeks. They have only had a total of seven full-team practices since being back on campus in August.
Hagood is focusing on her new teammates this year by breaking down their offense and defense during practice. She wants to make sure everyone is solid and understands all the plays.
“Dri-Dri makes the team better for sure, she pushes everyone because she’s going to go 110% at every practice. She wants us to do the same thing and she’s just a hard worker,” said Hagood’s teammate and Spectrum editor, Asia McCray.
Their first game is on Wednesday, Nov. 25 against Fairfield University, which will be televised live on ESPN3 and NEC Front Row.