STAMFORD, Conn. – Former Stamford High basketball star Kelsey Cognetta will have a new home with the Keene State team when the Owls return for practice next week.
Cognetta transferred to Keene in New Hampshire after one semester at William Paterson University. She quickly had a change of heart after attending the New Jersey school.
“It’s a big commuter school, so a lot of people go home,” Cognetta said. “There’s not a lot happening at the school – that’s what I liked about Keene State.”
Keene (3-5) also has Danbury’s Vicky Vitale, a junior, and Fairfield freshman Brian Curran on its roster. The Owls will be bolstered by the addition of Cognetta, a three-sport standout at Stamford. She was a two-time all-conference player, but missed parts of her junior and senior years with knee injuries.
“I was the captain at the time, so it was tough watching my teammates from the sideline,” said Cognetta. “My teammates, coaches and my parents gave me a lot of support.”
Owls coach Keith Boucher is going to take a patient approach with Cognetta.
“She’s learning everything from scratch,” Boucher said. “It’s not like one of our players coming back from an injury that has familiarity with the system. It’s obviously going to take her awhile. I’m excited about it. I think she’s going to give us some depth and she's going to help us, but again, I’m not going to put her out on the floor unless she feels comfortable and the trainers feel comfortable with her. I wouldn’t want her to do anything serious to her leg because she tried to come back too soon.”
Keene was on Cognetta’s college radar when she made her initial choice, but believed the school was too far from home. Now she embraces the change of scenery and has found a group ready to welcome her.
“The girls have been really nice,” she said. “That’s hard to find in the beginning. Not all teams are like that.”
Cognetta will have an early return to Fairfield County with Keene. The Owls play at Western Connecticut in Danbury at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 8.