Long Island News Post Published on May, 8th 2020
Written by Nick P
LONG ISLAND & COMMACK NEWS
Long Island WNBA PLayer Samantha Prahalis is Moving On. 2012 WNBA first-round pick Samantha Prahalis is moving on from the league after being named the James Madison women's basketball assistant coach. The former Long Island basketball star from Commack is joining join the Dukes as an Assistant Coach down in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Prahalis is not returning to her former position Ward Melville High School as Head Coach for the girls basketball team. Coach Samantha will be missed not just in Melville or Commack but from everyone who knows her on Long Island.
JMU Women's Basketball
The James Madison University Dukes are in the Colonial Athletic Association conference, meaning that they will have regular matchups with local Long Island school Hofstra. The head coach of the James Madison women's basketball team, Sean O’ Regan currently has a solid record of 103–30.
Is JMU Ready For Samantha Prahalis?
When asked about Samantha Prahalis joining the coaching staff, Sean O’ Regan said "I'm very excited to have Sam join our family," O'Regan said. "She will bring the passion and knowledge she played with to help us get better as a program. We went through an extensive process and she continued to rise as the best fit for us."
The opportunity to be an assistant coach at James Madison comes after spending the past few years coaching at the High School level. Her coaching career started as a volunteer assistant coach at Commack High School for 2 basketball seasons.
Following her position as an assistant coach at Commack, Prahalis then moved on and coached at Ward Melville for 2 years, leading the team to the Suffolk AA Semifinal round in 2018.
After her time at Ward Melville high school, she moved on to coach the North Babylon girls basketball team to the Suffolk AA quarterfinals round. These experiences have her reading to move up to the next level of coaching in the NCAA.
“I've learned so much from my coaching experience at Ward Melville and North Babylon,” Prahlis said. She continued “I had two excellent mentors in Pete Melore at Ward Melville and Jason Friesen at North Babylon. I learned a ton about myself, relationships, and how to motivate players.”
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Prahalis has said she isn't sure when she is exactly going to get the chance to head to James Madison and get started with her new team, but she says she is just super excited for the opportunity.
The James Madison University Dukes Women's Basketball team has never won an NCAA tournament since they were founded in 1920. However, they have been conference regular-season champions as recently as 2019.
Although they have never won the NCAA tournament, they have made several appearances over the years. The Dukes entered the tournament in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1996, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
With their newest addition to the coaching staff, they hope to qualify and make a run to become tournament champions in the near future.
As Samantha Prahalis said she hopes to coach at the WNBA level one day, adding an NCAA tournament championship team to her resume would surely help her chances.
Samantha Prahalis’s Basketball Career
When playing basketball for Commack High School, Prahalis was a two-time Newsday player of the year in 2007 and 2008. After graduating from Commack High School she went on to play at Ohio State University after graduating from high school.
In her time at Ohio State, she became all time Big Ten career assist leader with 901 and won the Big Ten player of the year award in 2012.
She remained at Ohio State University for four years before being drafted in the 6th overall in the 2012 WNBA draft by the Phoenix Mercury. Prahlis was named rookie of the year and selected to the WNBA all-rookie team.
After playing in the WNBA for a few seasons, Samantha would travel overseas to play in European women's basketball leagues. She bounced around playing in several places such as Romania, Turkey, Italy, and Hungary before eventually returning to Long Island to be a volunteer assistant head coach at Commack High School where she began both her playing and coaching career.
Here at Long Island Hub we wish the best of luck to Samantha Prahalis because she is a role model for many young female basketball players who aspire to succeed in the basketball industry.
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Long Island News Post Published May 8th, 2020
Written by Nick P
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