NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

2023 Women’s basketball season preview

The Knights women’s basketball team will take the court for the first time since the 2009-2010 season. The inability to field a complete Roster had left the program dead in the water. However, after a decade of recruiting and inquiriesamong students the program has been resurrected. 

Hired to navigate the revived program is Malaquias Carney. The Lawrence native played for his high school basketball team and four seasons at Clarkson

NECC website

The 2023-2024 Women’s basketball players

university. In 2019 he founded MAC basketball which focuses on empowering and educating players through basketball. Carney has also worked with Lawerence high school, Pingree school, Hamilton-Welham. In addition, he works with playmaking New England AAU. He has also served as an assistant coach under Darren Stratton. This will be Carney’s first role as a head coach. 

“I have always been an assistant and in the gym kind of guy, so I have always been able to be crazy and myself. I think I’m always going to be myself but just trying to figure out how that looks like a head coach. It’s going to be a fun journey I know I was built for this,” said Carney. 

Throughout the last several weeks, each of the players have developed a strong bond and connected through playing and practice together. 

“We all kind of clicked because we were all the same age and in the same situation where we played basketball and then stopped playing for a few years. Now we’re coming back and so everyone is coming back into the social aspect of the game. We have bonded over that” Emma Ruggerio of Chelmsford, MA Said. 

“All the girls on the team are very outgoing, no one is closed off, so we all got to know each other” Iesha Burgos of Haverhill, MA added 

NECC’s long battle with numbers isn’t over, the hope is that this will be the foundation of a basketball program for years to come. 

Three Knights players sitting on a benchNECC website

Three Knights players on a bench

“We want to grow and have that growth allow us to recruit a new crop of talented players and keep the program running,” said Carney. “It’s really about longevity, it’s not just having one good year or two we’re trying to build something that can keep going and doesn’t go away this time,” said Carney 

Women’s basketball will play their home opener on Nov 26th against Suffolk community college. The first tip is set for 4:00 p.m.