WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: WAVERLY GRADS ALEX AND SIDNEY TOMASSO EXCITED TO HAVE ONE FINAL YEAR TOGETHER ON THE HARDWOODS (9 PHOTOS)
(2024-01-08)By BRIAN FEESValley Sports Report
ELMIRA — As Alex Tomasso looked over at Sidney, she saw a look in her younger sister’s eyes.
The Waverly grad just knew her sister was about to send a pass her way, and that’s exactly what happened as Alex hauled in the pass and drained a three.
After four years of playing Division I golf at Merrimack College, Alex Tomasso had a fifth year of eligibility and decided the opportunity to go to St. John Fisher, get back into basketball, and join her sister Sidney was too much to pass up.
“I decided to play basketball because I love the sport, and I knew I would enjoy playing with Sid,” Alex said. “I’m so thankful for the experience and to take this opportunity to be able to spend the year together on and off the court is just amazing.
“I knew I had that fifth year of eligibility just hanging over my head, I just couldn’t not use it. I was thinking about getting my MBA anyways and they have a great program,” added Alex. “I knew I’d be able to be involved with the golf team and the basketball team. It was an easy decision for me.”
When Alex was deciding what to do this year her sister encouraged her to go to Fisher.
“I was like why not just come,” Sidney said. “You have the year, and you can play basketball and we can have one last, final year together.”
For Alex just being able to spend time on the court with her sister is special.
“I love being on the court, and even just supporting Sid from the bench, it’s cool to be able to experience having everyone come (watch them play in Elmira), it’s my first time to experience that and it’s really fun,” Alex said.
Playing near home, in front of family and friends, made for a fun night for Alex.
“I thought it was really special,” Alex said. “It’s just fun to play with Sid and be around her every day,” Alex said. “I knew she was going to pass me that ball. I could see it in her eyes. I started backing up, I said she is going to pass it to me and I had it in my head … it’s a lot of fun, I really enjoyed today.”
With their friends and family watching, the two Waverly grads helped Fisher beat Elmira College 92-37. Sidney had 10 points and four boards, with three assists and five steals, and Alex was 2-for-2 from three-point range for six points, to go along with two boards.
“Honestly it’s so much fun,” Sidney said. “I love playing with Alex, and to have our whole hometown here, all of our teammates, my old coach, it’s super fun.
“It was a good win today. Obviously we just started conference play, so it’s good to come out here on the road and get a win.”
Winning a game on the road is always important for the sisters and their teammates.
“Definitely we want to keep it rolling,” Sidney said. “Keep getting those wins. We’ve been on the road, four games now for conference play, so we’ll get some home games, which I think we are all excited about. We have had some off shooting days, so hopefully we can figure that out and keep getting some wins.”
“I think it just boosted the overall team morale, everyone got to play,” Alex said. “It was a good team win, everyone was involved, and I think going forward it will be huge for our overall team success.”
While she was away at Merrimack, Alex didn’t get many chances to see her sister play, and she hadn’t been able to be part of the crowd when Sidney played in Elmira in the past. That made Saturday even more special for the Waverly graduate.
“I myself, I haven’t been able to experience watching her because I was so busy at school, so I watched online,” Alex said. “But, I knew I wanted to be part of it, because I love my sister.”
And, the idea of playing basketball again was too much for Alex to pass up.
“I could be tempted with basketball, because I always loved basketball my whole life and when I had that hanging over head I just couldn’t not,” Alex said.
Getting back into competitive basketball for the first time since high school was tough, but Alex had her sister there to push her.
“It was hard, mentally and physically, because of what I was used to being,” Alex said. “I am almost coming out like a new player. I had to get my game back, and work on it. But, Sidney worked me out all summer. She got me ready to go and in shape. She’s been a huge help, super supportive of me as I’m supportive of her. She’s been super supportive of me.”
For Sidney, she had her big sister push her hard when she was younger, now it’s her turn to push her sister.
“She always pushed me to be the player I am today, so It’s nice I got to give it back to her a little bit, push her,” Sidney said.
Just like the high school days, Alex still gets chances to state her thoughts to her little sister.
“I still get my shots in from the bench,” she said. “She missed a foul shot and I was like ‘come on Sidney, focus,’ from the bench. But, it’s all out of love.”
Watching her sister play online was one thing, seeing her play in person is extra special.
“I am just really a part of it now, which is really special,” Alex said.
As Alex made her three of an assist from Sidney on Saturday, the two could look to the stands and see their brother, Joey, sitting there cheering them on. For the siblings, it’s been a long time since all three were in a gym at the same watching each other play.
“Probably since I was like a senior in high school,” Alex said. “It’s so special. We like supporting each other. Me and Sidney love going to Joey’s games, we are his number one fans and we know he will have our back sin the same way. It’s awesome.
“We have a little group chat and we were texting the other night, sending inspirational tweets and videos back and forth. It’s all friendly.”
St. John Fisher is 11-2 on the year and they have hopes of winning the Empire 8 Tournament for the third straight season.
“I think that’s our overall goal,” Alex said. “I told coach at the beginning of the season, obviously I haven’t played, but I am here to help the team in any way we can because we are all trying to achieve this goal.”
Sidney has won titles before, but it would be extra special to win a title with her sister.
“That’s our goal, get that Empire 8 Championship, and it’s going to be super fun to have Alex right there next to me,” Sidney said.
PHOTOS BY BRIAN FEES.