Finished with college hoops, Southmoreland grad Abel looks overseas to continue career
By Bill Tissue
Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
With her basketball career at Duquesne University completed, Southmoreland High School graduate Vanessa Abel will be trying to overcome even more adversity in her career.
After not being drafted by a WNBA team, she will now go overseas to follow her professional aspirations.
It won't be easy as she isn't “100 percent from a knee injury” that ended her 2011-12 season.
“Hopefully, one day I'll reach my full potential again and the opportunity comes across my way of getting into a tryout in the WNBA,” she said. “If not, I'll make my living overseas and enjoy the experience.”
She also explained that she will “sign with an agent in a couple of weeks.”
Besides losing Abel and other seniors, Duquesne lost its head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio, who was hired at the University of Pittsburgh.
“I wasn't too surprised about it,” Abel said. “Once I heard Agnus (Berenato) got fired it only made sense that Pitt would come after Coach Serio, because of her success at Duquesne in a short period of time.”
Abel believes the Lady Panthers could be competitive soon.
“Pitt already has a lot of talent on their roster” she said. “Their record doesn't tell how good they really are. By Coach Serio making the move to Pitt it allows her to recruit big-time players out of high school. She now can focus on the university's name and attract players to play at Pitt because they play in the ACC.”
“I give it two years before that program is turned around and back on the map; she's that good,” she said.
Abel had mixed emotions about McConnell-Serio's departure.
“It's sad to see someone I built a special relationship with leave me, But when an opportunity like that comes your way it's one you almost have to take,” she said. “Coach Serio is a competitor like me. She loves the challenge. She loves proving everyone wrong and Pitt is probably one of the biggest challenge she'll ever face.”
In Abel's eyes, Duquesne will stay strong.
“I believe Duquesne will continue to build,” she said. “Coach Serio has changed Duquesne into one of the top teams in the mid-major ranking. Duquesne has become a basketball school that will attract top coaches to want to be a part of a program like Duquesne.”
Bill Tissue is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.