It’s a reality true in nearly any sport: Defense isn’t flashy.
As much as any other sport, that’s the case in basketball. From the high school ranks to the NBA, it’s the scorers that tend to steal the show, not the scrappy defenders.
Well, Gloucester’s Katie Ciaramitaro isn’t stealing any headlines. What the senior captain is doing for the Fishermen girls basketball team, though, is robbing opponents of possessions.
And while it may not be pretty, that shouldn’t downplay what the fiery guard gives the Fishermen (3-4) every time she’s on the floor.
Ciaramitaro is the kind of defensive player that young basketball players should seek to emulate. Despite being tasked with defending an opponent’s best player nearly every time the Fishermen play, she’s never a step behind. She never takes a possession off. It’s as though she’s attached to her mark’s hip.
For an undersized, defense-oriented Gloucester squad, the value of a defender that averages five steals per game and often finds a way to shut down prolific scorers can’t be overstated.
“It’s vital,” coach Brandon Lewis said. “She’s one of the best man-to-man lockdown defenders in the league, and I say that without hesitation. You have to have her. She causes a lot of turnovers, and right now she’s averaging five steals a game. When she can create that turnover, if we can get the ball in transition, you’d like it to translate as five steals, five buckets, 10 points, which can swing a game.
“We’re undersized, so our perimeter defense is absolutely crucial and it centers around her.”
To hear Ciaramitaro discuss her defense, you’d think it was easy. It simply comes naturally.
Fishermen soccer fans got to enjoy her defense in the fall, as Ciaramitaro anchored Gloucester’s backline to help the Fishermen overcome a slow start to the season to qualify for the state tournament.