By Joseph Staszewski
Kamille Ejerta couldn’t help but picture herself in a Dowling uniform as she watched them play Franklin Pierce this winter.
“Their ball movement was exceptional,” the Archbishop Molloy guard recalled. “I said to myself, ‘That’s the kind of game I like to play.’”
She’ll continue to do so in college.
Ejerta recently committed to play women’s basketball for Division II Dowling, in Oakdale, L.I., next season. She fell in love with the campus and coaching staff and was drawn to the school because of its close proximity to her Queens home. The team’s recent success made it seem like the right destination for her.
Ejerta, who also drew interest from Queens College, Chestnut Hill and Winston-Salem State, has a partial academic scholarship for her freshman year and will get athletic money her final three seasons.
“I think it’s a great fit,” Molloy Coach Scott Lagas said. “She plays their kind of game. She likes to run. She likes to play defense. She likes to shoot the ball.”
Dowling is a program on the rise under Coach Joe Pellicane, who has also served an assistant at St. John’s University. The Golden Lions went 22-7 and 13-3 in the ECC last year, winning the conference regular season and postseason crowns. They lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Holy Family, but were ranked as high as No. 21 in the country in the USA Today/ESPN Division II coaches’ poll.
Ejerta’s biggest asset is her adaptability to whatever role her coach needs from her, Lagas said. At Molloy, she started and was also a key reserve, providing a spark off the bench. She hit some of the biggest shots of the Stanners season, helping them reach the CHSAA Class AA state semifinals.
“She can fill any roll you want her to,” Lagas said.
Ejerta connected on a key trey in a win over Christ the King and hit a game sealing three-pointer with 40 seconds left in overtime to lift Molloy over nationally ranked St. Anthony’s in the Catholic state quarterfinals. Her finest performance came with stars Amani Tatum and Carolyn Gallagher out with injuries. Ejerta scored a season-high 24 points in a loss to eventual New Jersey state champion Manasquan.
“She stepped up in big situations,” Lagas said. “She is not afraid of the big moment, that’s for sure.”
Ejerta is happy the big decision is over. She has already been working on her game to get prepared to play at the next level.
“It feels great knowing I will continue something I enjoy and have a passion for,” Ejerta said. “This is where I wanted to be.”