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Home : News : News
NEWS | Nov. 12, 2010

Stacey guard nets dream

By Patrick Desmond 502nd Air Base Wing OL-A Public Affairs

A star basketball player delivers a signature move, eliciting cheers, applause and a round of flash photography.

If that sounds like the making of a good dream - it is.

For Cordia Harvatin, Stacey's top-scoring shooting guard, who has wanted to play college basketball since the sixth grade, that dream was realized Nov. 5.

Packed into the classroom-sized Lyon Center with about 50 supporters, and seated between mom, April, and her future coach, Harvatin signed a letter of intent to play for Southwestern Assemblies of God University in 2011.

Fellow students, friends and teammates encircled Harvatin following the signing, as if more autographs would follow.

"I feel very loved," Harvatin said, after hearing from her high school and Amateur Athletic Union coaches. "It's really nice, especially with my dad (Master Sgt. David Harvantin, Lajes Field, Azores) away overseas."

It's the first time the District 30-A program has had a girls basketball player accept an athletic scholarship.

Moreover, she'll be joining a squad coming off two National Association Intercollegiate Athletics national tournaments in a row.

For the student-athlete who has made the choice to give up nights, weekends and summers, it has all been worthwhile.

"College ball has always been my dream," Harvatin said. "If I couldn't play ball in college, I was seriously considering joining the Air Force and going to college like that."

Despite receiving other offers, she said SAGU is the place for her.

Having run with the current SAGU team in a four-on-four scrimmage, Harvatin knows what she's getting into, adding that "playing AAU ball, plus the training and coaching" has prepared her for the next level.

SAGU women's basketball coach Arlen Beadle also knows what type of player he's getting.

"We're definitely looking for a scorer," he said. "She takes the ball to the hole really well, she's got a nice 15-footer and can shoot the three."

Harvatin said the school's Christian foundation as well as the opportunity to meet with people outside of basketball greatly influenced her decision.

"They really care about you as a whole, not just as an athlete," she said.

The morning after the visit she had "a sense of peace about it."

Having coached Harvatin throughout high school, Stacey girls basketball coach, Amber Greeness isn't surprised by the success. She's seen the jumps in talent each year.

First, Harvatin was the secret weapon coming off the bench as a freshman and sophomore.

Then an elite scorer, who by her junior year had topped 1,000 points, earning the title of District 30-A offensive MVP.

Greeness said in addition to a "great, bubbly personality," Harvatin is very mature - she listens to criticism well.

Now, Harvatin has grown into the Eagles' version of WNBA star Cadence Parker, Greeness said.

Silver Stars forward Sophia Young, present at Harvatin's signing and sponsor of the AAU team she played on, shared some words of wisdom.

The former Baylor student told Harvatin that college ball is different - there's more responsibility placed on the individual to progress each year. If she wanted it, Harvatin would have to push herself even more.

Of course, she'll also have support waiting back home.

After the signing, coach Greeness recalled one of April's favorite sayings, "it takes a village."

"It really does," she said. "It has taken a whole group of us."

Here, the village is a small school, with the result being an athlete ready to study criminology on a near-full ride.

Harvatin is just waiting for a phone call from one more significant person - her dad.