“Yo, RC girls’ basketball” – as Rocky Balboa might say.
The Roselle Catholic girls’ basketball team spent Jan. 21 in the City of Brotherly Love watching college basketball’s preeminent and visiting perhaps the most iconic steps in movie history.
On the same date the Philadelphia Eagles secured a berth in Super Bowl LII as the Lions watched the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team defeat Temple after visiting a landmark outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Before heading to Temple’s McGonigle Hall, the RC girls’ basketball team ran the Rocky Steps – the 72 stone steps before the entrance of the Philadelphia Art Museum that became famous after Sylvester Stallone climbed them in the triple-Oscar winning film “Rocky” and all of the series’ sequels (except “Rocky IV”).
Last winter, the Lions watched the film “Creed” which ended with a scene at the Rocky Steps.
“My favorite part of the day was when my teammates and I went to see the famous Rocky Steps,” said Roselle Catholic junior Taniya Hanner, who’s averaging 17 points and eight rebounds per game.
“It was a great experience and great seeing the Rocky statue,” Hanner said. “I was at the scene where the main character from the movie “Creed” (portrayed by Michael B. Jordan) was running up the steps.”
After a quick lunch at a LaScala’s Pronto, with brick oven pizza and Philly cheesesteaks on the menu, Roselle Catholic headed to North Broad Street, where UConn defeated Temple 113-57 before a capacity-crowd of 3,900 at McGonigle Hall.
For a change UConn is not the defending national champion. However, the Lady Huskers began the final week in January 20-0 and ranked No. 1 again in the nation.
“It was a great opportunity for the girls to see the best of the best when it comes to women’s basketball,” said Roselle Catholic assistant coach Allison Skrec, the 2009 and 2010 Union County Player of the Year.
“It was a very cool day to be in Philly as the Eagles were taking on the Vikings later that night for the NFC championship.”
Roselle Catholic carries a 12-3 record (7-2 in the Union County Conference’s Watchung Division) into Wednesday’s (Jan. 31) game against Shore Conference powerhouse Rumson at Brookdale Community College.
“It is very important for teammates to do bonding activities,” Hanner said. “Teams need to have that chemistry on and off the court with each other. It was great for our team to go see the Rocky steps and to see the UConn game.”
“Bringing a high school team to a college game is a good experience because it can show the girls how fast-paced the game is and how hard players and teams have to work at that level,” said former RC bowling and softball coach Jeanette Rondeau, who helped chaperone the trip.
“I also think it helps bring to life some of the skills you try to teach in practice. Not to mention, a trip like the RC girls took is a great opportunity for team bonding.”