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Courtesy of Damin Altize
Damin Altizer (left) works out with Timesland player of the year Andrew Rowsey.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Damin Altizer’s two-game, four-minute career as a member of the first Virginia team to play at John Paul Jones Arena wasn’t enough to whet his basketball appetite.
An engineer’s job at MeadWestvaco in Covington was awaiting Altizer in 2009 after he graduated from UVa with a degree in environmental science, and that’s where he remained for nearly two years.
“Several parents knew that I had been at UVa and asked me about working for their kids,” said Altizer, a walk-on who was the Pioneer District player of the year as a senior at Bath County in 2005.
“I’d worked with a couple of people who did skill-development training while I was in high school and really enjoyed it, moreso than just camps, so I jumped at the opportunity.”
At first, he was able to work the tutorials around his work schedule at MeadWestvaco. He had a background with Ganon Baker, who operated a skills academy for Nike and found room for Altizer as one of his instructors.
“That was a launching pad for me,” said Altizer, who moved to the Raleigh, N.C., area while his fiancee, the former Kelly McElwee, was in graduate school at Duke.
They have since relocated to Charlottesville, where Altizer has worked with the boys basketball team at Miller School.
“Things have just exploded for me as far as camps,” said Altizer, who was in Brazil last summer and also has been to Germany. “I’ve been able to turn a passion into a profession.”
He was in Botetourt County for a one-day camp Wednesday. Two weeks ago, he was at Cave Spring High School.
“I mostly enjoy working with kids in the [age] 14-17 range who don’t know everything yet, especially those who are trying to play in college,” Altizer said. “A lot of the things we do are kind of innovative. We use a lot of tennis balls and medicine balls and try and incorporate a lot of conditioning and strength training.”
Timesland player of the year Andrew Rowsey, headed to UNC Asheville in the fall, has been one of Altizer’s prize pupils.
“We think the world of Damin,” Rowsey’s father, Chris, said.
Future Hokie a marvel
Virginia Tech recruit Murielle Tiernan, diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as an infant, was named girls soccer player of the year by The Washington Post for the D.C. metro area.
Tiernan, a forward, had 25 goals and 13 assists this season for Stone Bridge High School of Ashburn, which was 17-0-2 and ranked No. 1 in the D.C. area before losing to Yorktown in the Northwest Region semifinals.
Tiernan has a relatively mild case of cystic fibrosis and will be monitored closely at Tech, where she may be excused from some fitness tests, according to a Washington Post feature story.
Her father, Ed, is a former basketball coach at three Northern Virginia high schools.
Jeremiah Clarke, a 6-foot-4, 276-pound defensive end from T.C. Williams in Alexandria, has become the third Virginian to make a football commitment to North Carolina for 2014. Clarke, rated the No. 20 prospect in Virginia by rivals.com, had offers from 10 ACC programs, including UVa and Virginia Tech.
N.C. State is the new home of Trevor Lacey, a 6-foot-3 guard who started every game as a sophomore last season at Alabama, where he averaged 11.3 points and had a team-high 62 3-point field goals. Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried previously was the coach at Alabama from 2008-2009, at which point Lacey would have been a sophomore in high school.
Two UVa women’s basketball recruits were named to the Parade All-American team, guard Breyana Mason from Forest Park High School in Woodbridge and 6-1 Amanda Fioravanti from Good Counsel in Olney, Md. Mason, who attended the same high school as former Virginia All-American Monica Wright, was the Gatorade state player of the year.
Newly hired Blake Miller, the ninth head softball coach at UVa, is the first male head coach in the program’s 35-year history.
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