Thomaston's Casey Carangelo taking her game to Texas
THOMASTON – Casey Carangelo is one part nervous, one part excited and all parts ready.
The former Thomaston High All-Stater and all-time leading girls scorer (1,588 points) who helped guide the Golden Bears to two Class S state championships, four Class S title game appearances and four Berkshire League and BL Tournament titles, announced recently that she will be transferring to Division I University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.
The 6-foot Carangelo will have three years eligibility left after sitting out last season at St. Francis College in Brooklyn due to ankle and foot injuries. Carangelo has applied for a waiver to play from the NCAA which is necessary for players transferring from one Division I school to another.
During her freshman season, Carangelo played nine minutes a game averaging four points with a high of 12 points against Moorhead State while playing in 29 of 30 games.
“When I did my visitation I fell in love with the school, the area, the gym has been redone and the coaches were great, said Carangelo. “I’m a little nervous, but I’m excited. I haven’t been that far away for home for that long but this was the best opportunity for me. New York was great and San Antonio is different and exciting.’
Carangelo did not elaborate on her reason for the transfer except to say that it was time for change.
“I felt like (St. Francis) was not the right fit for me anymore,” she said. “I was injured under the coach that recruited me (John Thurston) and I just felt throughout the year that it was not the right fit.”
Thurston retired and was replaced for the 2018-19 season by Linda Cimino.
Like many in this part of the country Carangelo had not heard of the University of Incarnate Word but the program and player found one another.
“When l made my decision to transfer my compliance officer put me the transfer portal which only the other coaches around the country have access to, “ explained Carangelo. “I wanted to see who wanted me. I was actually skeptical of going to another Division I school because of the possibility of sitting out a year. I did look at some Division II schools.
But I talked with the coach (Jeff Dow) and we will apply for a waiver. They had one scholarship left and wanted a transfer. They offered me the scholarship before my visitation.”
While Texas wasn’t in the game plan to start with, the reception from the program and the schedule Incarnate Word plays were overwhelming attractions. The Cardinals play in the Southland Conference against the likes of Lamar, Stephen F. Austin, New Orleans and Sam Houston State while other teams on the schedule include Arizona, Arizona State, Houston and San Diego State.
“Their schedule was one of the bigger deciding factors for me,” said Carangelo. “I was lucky enough to get to play at St. Francis and I’m really lucky to get another opportunity with this kind of schedule.”
Carangelo admits there may be an adjustment period, not having played competitively for a season due to the injuries and with a new program but she is back to healthy and ready to go.
Carangelo tore ligaments in her ankle in the spring of 2018 and had ankle reconstruction surgery in June. She was forced to have a second surgery in November when during her recovery she tore a tendon in her foot.
In January of this year she was diagnosed with a stress fracture in the foot and it wasn’t until March that she was cleared was cleared to begin workouts.
“I slowly progressed and was fully doing stuff by the end of April,” said Carangelo. “There are no restrictions now. It feels good and is probably as good as it is going to get.’
Carangelo worked out with coaches at Incarnate Word and provided the school with an updated MRI.
“My surgeon had cleared me and their doctor agreed,” said Carangelo. “The coach called me last week and said congratulations.”
In the meantime, Carangelo has been lifting weights, working out and preparing herself for the next step in her basketball journey. It’s time to get back on the highway after a lengthy detour.