All posts by giulianaallegrotti2017

Value of sports goes beyond playing for female athletes

By Giuliana Allegrotti

Before Teri Rodgers took over the girls’ basketball program at New Trier High School in 1999, all the team’s games were played in G110, a smaller practice gym on campus adjacent to the main gym, where the boys played. The whole setup felt stringent to Rodgers; the main gym somehow belonged to the boys and G110 belonged to the girls.

It was also something that bothered Rodgers. She said she was conscious of the message her female players were getting by holding their games in a smaller, inferior gym and one of her first acts as head coach was to move the girls to the main gym.

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New Trier basketball season in photos

By Giuliana Allegrotti

New Trier coach Teri Rodgers walked out of the locker room, her eyes still red from crying. New Trier had just lost the regional championship to Maine West. Their season was over.

“You couldn’t have been around a better group,” Rodgers said through her sniffles. “I’ve been doing this for 19 years. This was a special group.”

The Trevians finished their 2016-17 season with 17-11 losses (4-5 in conference play). But to look at just their wins and losses is an incomplete story.

New Trier was a team defined by their chemistry and dedication. When they struggled early in the year, going 2-4 over two weeks in December, they didn’t splinter. They stuck together, rode it out, and relished in a good amount of success.

The season is over now, but Ed Gjertsen, whose daughter Katherine was a senior guard on the team, documented many of the key moments behind the long lens of his camera.

Relive some of the Trevs’ best, funniest, and most heartbreaking moments of their season.

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Who are you wearing? NFL fans explain

By Giuliana Allegrotti
Reporting from Houston

Super Bowl LI

At NFL Experience, the hub for fan activity at Super Bowl LI in Houston, most fans roam around dressed in their favorite NFL teams’ paraphernalia. You may see t-shirts that say ‘Rise Up’ in support of the Atlanta Falcons or ‘this girl loves Tom Brady’ for the New England Patriots; hardly anyone at the George R. Martin Convention Center in downtown Houston remains neutral.
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Young women ‘prepare for the Super Bowl of life’

By Giuliana Allegrotti
Reporting from Houston

Super Bowl LI

On the Friday and Saturday before Super Bowl LI, the NFL took a break from football to host the NFL Women’s Summit, an event designed to teach teenage girls how to achieve their goals, dream big, and prepare for life’s challenges. Featuring a slew of speakers, including Aly Raisman and Simone Biles, Tony Dungy and Ron Rivera, not to mention NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the Women’s Summit worked to empower the next generation of female leaders. Listen to what some of them had to say.

Photo at top: Houston mayor Sylvester Turner and his daughter, Ashley, address 250 Houston-area girls at the NFL Women’s Summit. (Giuliana Allegrotti/Medill)

Who inspires you? New Trier girls basketball team tells us

By Giuliana Allegrotti

Last week I talked to New Trier junior guard Daniela Sirott about her athletic heroes, who inspires her in professional sports. Her answer took me by surprise.

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The joy of her game

By Giuliana Allegrotti

Barb Rodgers peered into the elementary school gym window to watch basketball tryouts. She had her eye on one player in particular.

The school principal, on his way out of the gym, turned to Rodgers and said, “That little girl is pretty good. It’s too bad we can’t keep her.”

“Why not?” Rodgers asked.

“You know,” he said, “playing on a team with all boys, it’s probably going to be too hard.”

Rodgers pressed. “You know, that little girl probably knows she’s as good as anyone else.”

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Surging New Trier gets measure of redemption

By Giuliana Allegrotti

It was their worst game of the year.

Back on Dec. 2, the New Trier girls basketball team lost to conference rival Niles West 52-45. New Trier was sloppy on both ends of the floor; unforced turnovers and lackadaisical defense plagued the team the entire game. They had poor body language and looked defeated long before the game was even over.

It was easy to understand, then, why memories of that game were on the minds of New Trier players last Friday night, as they looked to avenge that early December loss against Niles West.

“We were all embarrassed by it,” senior guard Kristie Kalis said. “We knew we were better than them, we just didn’t play well.”

New Trier won handily 66-40 last Friday, never even allowing Niles West to get within striking distance. The win brought the Trevs to 4-3 in the Central Suburban League play and 12-8 on the season. They’ll play a non-conference game against Libertyville Tuesday night, and resume CSL play again Friday against Glenbrook South.

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