Some of Schenectady County’s Very Best Female Basketball Players of the Past

Kathy Kaczkowski, Draper;  Charlene Fields, Bishop Gibbons;  Amanda Blackstone, Mohonasen and Valerie Higgins, Schalmont are difficult to separate and just might be the best of the lot.  Kaczkowski was arguably the best of the group.  The 6-footer had a brilliant career at Draper, and she went over the 1,000-point mark at Siena College. She was a strong inside player and shot blocker.  Fields just might be the finest player ever to come out of Gibbons.  She also scored over 1,000 career points at Marist College and set many other school records.  Higgins was a very strong player who scored and passed the ball well.  She was a real clutch player.  Higgins also scored well over 1,000 points at Siena.  Blackstone might well be Schalmont’s best ever.  She was big and strong, a solid rebounder, and a prolific scorer.  Other top players were:

Kelly Paolino, Schalmont – A scrappy player and an excellent ballhandler who could score.  One of the best players the Rotterdam high schools have ever produced.

Becky Bazyk, Bishop Gibbons – Consistent at both ends of the floor, she was a very unselfish player who did a lot of the little things well..  A very valuable team player.

Cathy Bintz , Bishop Gibbons – She picked many an opponent’s pockets with her quick hands on defense.  Blintz was a feisty backcourter who consistently scored in double figures and rebounded well.

Michelle Dragon, Mont Pleasant – A good scorer in clutch situations for the Red Raiders, and a great team leader.  Dragon was very aggressive on the basketball floor.

Jennifer Nowak, Schenectady High – Nowak was as tough as nails and a very fierce competitor who probably should have been mentioned in the same breath as the four at the top.   She played the game with a lot of intensity. Nowak attended Keene State College and was a 1,000-point plus career scorer.

Karly Heiner, Schenectady High – A teammate of Jennifer Nowak’s, she was an excellent all-around player with a nice touch from outside, and she ran the floor well.

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