With four women poised to sign professional contracts and another entering the real world after the season, Duquesne coach Dan Burt came up with a nickname for his five most experienced players:
Burt said Chassidy Omogrosso (Blackhawk), Kadri-Ann Lass, Julijana Vojinovic and Eniko Kuttor will continue their careers professionally next season. Meanwhile, Conor Richardson (Carlynton) is studying for her MBA and will return to the Dukes next season as a graduate assistant.
Her goal: “Make some money one day, change some lives,” she said, laughing.
That must wait, however, as the Dukes are in the midst of what they hope will be a long run through the Atlantic 10 Tournament, with the goal at the end a berth in the NCAAs.
After defeating Rhode Island, 106-69, on Tuesday night, Duquesne will meet Saint Louis in a quarterfinal game Friday at Palumbo Center.
“Some teams peaked 10 games ago,” Richardson said. “We’re peaking around tournament time. If we continue to do this throughout the tournament, we can’t be stopped.”
Richardson scored a career-high 20 points in only 13 minutes as she tries to wring as much as she can out of her last days as a basketball player.
“I owe so much to the game in general that I have to give it my all,” she said. “I really am blessed. All the friendships I’ve had, all the connections, the places I’ve gone. I’m forever indebted.”
But Omogrosso had one warning for all her teammates.
“Enjoy this till midnight,” she said. “Tomorrow we have to get back to work.”