Amanni Fernandez was looking for a new challenge after a disappointing junior season at Christ the King. The rising senior point guard, who lost the battle for the starting job last year, left her NYC Warriors AAU team to play this summer with the Gauchos.
“I wanted more exposure and [to] play on a different elite level,” the 5-foot-6 Fernandez said. “I wanted a different experience in other tournaments.”
She went to Nike Nationals, Boo Williams and Peach Jam and played at the top level of each. It gave her a chance to compete against some of the nation’s top talent. Fernandez felt that would be the best way to improve her basketball game and prepare for her senior season at Christ the King.
“It’s a little scary,” said Fernandez, who has garnered interest from Providence, Northeastern, St. Bonaventure and Wagner. “You are starting to realize you have to grow up.”
She’s hoping this experience will prepare her the opportunity that awaits her when she returns to the Middle Village school in a few weeks. Starting point guard Alyssa Gatti is recovering from a torn ACL and isn’t expected back until January. Fernandez came into last season hoping to claim that role, but was used sparingly by Coach Bob Mackey. She will have a chance to reclaim that spot and help the Royals try to reclaim its CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title.
Fernandez’s skill-set has never been a question. She is a quick, strong guard who can attack the paint and her jump shot has steadily improved. Fernandez feels what held her back the most was her decision-making. She hoped to change that trend my challenging herself at a higher level of travel ball with the Gauchos.
Fernandez praised Coach Earl Eliotte for pushing her, explaining the nuances of the position she needed to grasp and giving her positive reinforcement when she did something right.
“Everything is about getting wiser and smarter as a point guard,” Fernandez said.
Now as her senior year approaches, it’s about showing off and using the skills she picked up to help Christ the King and reach the potential many see for her.
“I felt like I let myself down and my team down,” Fernandez said of last year. “I definitely won’t let that happen again.”
©2012 Community News Group
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