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Connecticut Starters team meet Kevin Durant at Chicago tournament

Members of the Connecticut Starters Under 15 girls basketball team that includes Avon’s Abby St. Onge pose for a quick selfie photo with two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors on Thursday in Chicago.

What are you doing on your summer vacation?

Nine members of the Connecticut Starters AAU girls basketball team coached by Canton High coach Brian Medeiros and Northwestern Regional’s Fred Williams spent a few days in Chicago earlier this month playing in the Nike Tournament of Champions where they had the chance to meet two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors.

In the Starters’ fifth and final game of the tournament on Thursday, the Starters beat Team Durant, a team out of Maryland, 56-52. Avon’s Abby St. Onge scored four points for the Starters Under 15 team in the victory.

“Our court was blocked off with additional Nike staff and security as everyone wanted a glimpse of Kevin Durant and his entourage who were sitting under the far basket,” Medeiros said.

“After we shook hands (with Team Durant), our girls had a moment they won’t soon forget,” Medeiros said. “Kevin took the time to take two different pictures with the girls and congratulated them on their hard-fought victory. Kevin and his whole team were terrific with all of us, a very surreal moment.”

From left to right, Indianna DelRocco (Choate Rosemary Hall/Branford), Erin Carucci (Suffield), Sara Wohlgemuth, Olivia Deslauriers (Hall-West Hartford), Abby St. Onge (Avon), Kevin Durant, Nicole Coolidge (East Longmeadow, MA), Lauren Keel (East Windsor), Maddi Larkin (Sheehan-Wallingford) and Sam Curtis (Ellington).

The Starters played in the Under 16 division at the tournament and went 2-3 facing teams from Ontario, Canada; Illinois and Iowa.

St. Onge had a good game in the tournament finale against Team Durant. “Abby St. Onge did a great job of limiting their post play inside, altering multiple shots, which lead to some easy transition baskets (for us),” Medeiros said.

The 6-foot-9 Durant, 29, is a two-time MVP of the NBA Finals. He spent nine seasons in Oklahoma City before signing with Golden State before the 2016-17 season.

This was the eighth of ten tournaments the Connecticut Starters team will participate in this season, which runs from April through July. On July 22-25, the team will participate in the U.S. Junior Nationals in Maryland and then conclude the season with a Blue Chip Summer Finale tournament on July 28-29 in Pennsylvania.

Canton High guard Abby Charron and East Catholic forward Cami Pasqualoni are members of the Starters Under 15 team but weren’t in Chicago for this tournament. Charron was participating in an Under Armour All-American camp in Baltimore.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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