By Melissa Priore
BLACKWOOD – One of New Jersey’s Women of the Year for 2013 remembers her two years playing basketball for Camden County College as one of the best times of her life.
Felicia Macauly, 20 of Lindenwold, a criminal justice and nursing major, wasn’t interested in playing for the women’s team when she first came to the school in the Fall of 2011.
But from the moment she entered tryouts, which are open to all students, she knew that she wanted to be one of the girls who were strong and talented enough to be a Lady Cougar.
“You had to get in shape. We had a really crazy trainer,” Macauly said, “Everyone wants to come in the beginning. You have to earn it. Some people weren’t able to make it all the way. They just couldn’t deal with it.”
Besides the training sessions and practices that test the ladies physically, players also are expected to keep their minds strong through their classes.
“You have to manage your classes,” Macauly said. “They monitor your grades every week and you have to get a paper signed by your teachers to let them know how you’re doing in class.”
Macauly kept her grades up and her attitude positive, and it paid off.
The center forward started every game she played. She experienced a boost in her confidence and rightfully so. Macauly once played against an opponent who scored an average of scoring 40 points a game. That same player scored only two points while Macauly was on the defense.
Macauly now has “bittersweet memories” of the sport she loves so much because while she is still a student at CCC in her 3rd year, there is a 2 year maximum to play all sports at the college.
“It hurts so bad watching,” said Macauly, “I miss it so much. I love playing basketball. I love being involved and doing something. And I actually feel like I did better in school while playing. I’m still a good student, but I just go home after school. Last year, I’d have to wait for practices so I’d go to the library and study.”
Felicia Macauly’s athletic career is far from over.
She is looking into transferring to Rutgers Newark, not just because she likes the nursing program there. Rutger’s scouts has contacted the coach of the woman’s basketball team, Molly Anne Light, in hopes of having Felicia play for the team up in North Jersey.
For other women who hope to be apart of any team at the college, Macauly had some words of advice.
“Work hard and leave your attitude at home. Come here and do what you have to do,” she said.