Inside The Mind Of A High School Athlete


ludmila Conceicao

Ari Manforte (left) and Genesis Aybar (right) our ACE Athletes

Ludmila Conceicao, Staff Writer

School spirit is important – and even more so on the court. I got the chance to talk to Lady Hatters basketball teammates Ari Manforte and Genesis Aybar, representing numbers 12 and 35 on the team. We are very lucky to have such great team leaders. Ari started playing basketball at the age of 5, with her passion for the sport growing as she did. For Genesis, her drive is to crush all competition. With the coaching of Jackie Dinardo, the Lady Hatters won their most recent game 57-31 against Wilton.


For Ari Manforte, athletics run deep in the family. “When I think of basketball, I think of my mom, and how basketball grew our relationship,” she said, “and I look for my grandma in the stands during games.” When it comes to teamwork on the court, Manforte keeps things civil with her teammates. “I like my team, but I only have bonds with some of them.”

To ACE student Genesis Aybar, basketball is a passion that began early on. “I’d be at the gardens watching everyone play – I started around 5,” she explained, “I love basketball because I grew up around it.”  To Aybar, however, basketball isn’t always therapeutic. “I’m always stressing about the plays,” she said, “when I think of basketball, I think of winning.” 


Injuries during sports can be common, but ACE’s athletes manage as best as they can. “I injured my finger getting a rebound,” said Manforte, “I don’t make a big deal when I get injured. I just ice my injury – it’s not much I can do.” For Aybar, injuries hardly get in the way. “I get injuries often – my back’s hurting right now. I just sit or go to the trainer. I keep on going until I can’t anymore.”


You can check out their upcoming games on here.


Edited by Cole Ferrentino