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Stonehill women’s basketball star Emily Bramanti already pointed toward a coaching career

For now, Emily Bramanti has been aiming accurately on 3-pointers (41.7 percent) but she has her sights set on another target: a coaching career.Brian Foley/Brian Foley for Foley-Photograph

Emily Bramanti has been surrounded by high-level basketball coaches her entire life. It figures that she plans to join them.

Bramanti, a fifth-year senior standout for Stonehill, is one of 62 players nationwide who will participate in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s “So You Want To Be A Coach” program, as announced last Wednesday. The workshop, to be held in Dallas March 30-31, is designed to give seniors and grad-student players a foundation in their aspirations to coach.

“I’m really excited just to kind of go through this whole process of interacting with all these college coaches around the country that are going to be going to Dallas, and just kind of listening and taking in as much information as I can regarding what the life of a college coach is like,” Bramanti said.


Bramanti, a Chelmsford native, has already built a solid foundation leading on the sidelines. Her father Chris is the 11th-year Westford Academy boys’ varsity basketball coach and has been in the program for more than 20 years.

Bramanti has helped out her father and Westford girls’ coach Russ Coward during summer leagues, and she also has led AAU teams and eighth-grade squads at the Dana Barros Basketball Club in Stoughton. Some local high schools have already reached out to Bramanti and shown interest in adding her to the staff.

When Chris Bramanti watches his daughter coach, he sees an even-keeled steward who rarely raises her voice at players or officials.

“She’s got this natural ability to talk to people and communicate well,” he said. “She doesn’t yell, she doesn’t scream, [but] you can tell when she’s emphatic about making a point, and it’s more of a natural thing for her.”

As part of the program application process, Bramanti had to write an essay and submit a letter of recommendation from Stonehill coach Trisha Brown. Brown, a 22-year head coach for the Skyhawks, lauded her point guard’s passion and basketball IQ.


“I always consider the point guard an extension of what we do as coaches,” Brown said. “You could tell she thought definitely outside the box, not just as a player on the court, but as somebody who is thinking about the bigger picture in terms of the whole game and her teammates and their roles.”

Brown, predecessor Kelly Hart (1996-2001), and program founder Paula Sullivan (1971-1996) have cultivated an impressive coaching tree with strong ties to the local high school level. Cheryl (Tebou) Seavey (Bridgewater-Raynham) played for Sullivan, Julie (Stockwell) Letourneau (Bishop Stang) and Katelyn Leonard (Swampscott) for Hart, , and Norwood coach Kristen McDonnell starred under Hart and Brown.

Bramanti, who used to square off against McDonnell-led Braintree teams while playing at Westford, now chats with her nearly every week.

“She’s been awesome, and is definitely a resource I’m going to continue to use in the future,” Bramanti said.

Right now, the 5-foot-6-inch guard is helping lead Stonehill (6-15, 2-6 NEC) through its first Division 1 campaign. Bramanti is averaging a team-high 15.4 points per game and canning a blistering 41.7 percent of her 3-pointers. She has earned two Northeast Conference Player of the Week awards to date.

In the future, Bramanti hopes to latch onto a Division 1 college program as a graduate assistant and work her way up the collegiate coaching ranks. She’s confident that with her support system of successful coaches, she can make the transition to the other side of the bench.


“I have great mentors in my life that are going to be able to help me kind of fulfill those dreams that I have for myself,” Bramanti said. “So it’s really exciting to look into the future.”

UMass gets stingy

After making defensive improvement a preseason point of emphasis, UMass coach Tory Verdi likes what he’s seeing from his squad in conference play. The Minutewomen (17-4, 7-1 A-10) beat Duquesne, 83-61, Sunday and have allowed 61 points or fewer in all seven of their conference wins. They sit second in the league behind Rhode Island (17-3, 8-0).

“The ball pressure, the hard hedges, the rotations, the want-to’s, the box outs, the rebounds — I mean, I was pretty impressed with how we played defensively here today,” Verdi said.

Sam Breen, seen here in action against Tennessee in November, has been at the heart of the recent run of success for UMass.Wade Payne/Associated Press

Star forward Sam Breen picked up her second A-10 Player of the Week award after averaging 20.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 6.0 assists across two wins.

Double dip

Holy Cross (16-5, 8-2 Patriot League) dropped its first two conference matchups of the season to Lehigh and Army. The Crusaders concede the top spot in the Patriot League standings to Boston University (15-6, 10-0), which beat Colgate and Lehigh … Boston College snapped its own five-game skid by beating Pittsburgh, 74-60, Sunday.

Ethan Fuller can be reached at ethan.fuller@globe.com.