A long, tough two-year journey came to a happy end for Miami Northwestern girls’ basketball player Quanthavia Stalworth on Wednesday morning.
With plenty of family members, teammates and coaches present, Stalworth, along with her Bulls teammate Artisha Dawkins, sat at a decorated table dressed in the colors of Webber International University in the school’s media room to sign their scholarship letters.
Both will join Shameka Pratt — who graduated from Northwestern last year and also attended the signing ceremony — at the small NAIA school near Lake Wales where Pratt helped WIU win its first-ever Sun Conference title in February.
Stalworth is one of 10 children and will become the first in her family to attend college. Just two years ago, her Liberty City house burned to the ground and her mother, Kenyatta McDonald, was forced to move the entire family to Homestead to live with relatives.
But with the coaxing of coach Clyde Glover and assistant coach Sherri Lockette, McDonald agreed to leave Stalworth behind to live with her grandmother near the school.
“Coach Lockette and I made [McDonald] a promise that we would take care of her daughter and make sure we got her into college,” Glover said. “She [Quanthavia] had to go through a lot and had a lot of up-and-down moments along the way, but she’s a determined young lady with a lot of talent and we’re really happy for her as well as Artisha.”
“I never really looked back; I always tried to just keep looking forward and stay focused on my goals,” said Stalworth, who finished her senior season averaging 12 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks, two assists and three steals a game. “Today feels great, I’m proud to be the first in my family to go to college and really excited and looking forward to the opportunities that await me.”
Dawkins finished the season averaging seven points, four assists and three steals a game in helping lead the Bulls to a 19-6 season and regional playoff berth before losing to eventual state finalist Norland.
“It feels great, and I’m really proud of my accomplishments,” said Dawkins, who transferred from Doctors Charter in Miami Shores for her senior year. “I’m going to a great school and have a lot to look forward to.”
Miami Country Day School promoted assistant coach Marcelo Metzelar to be the school’s football coach next season.
Metzelar has coached in Miami-Dade County for 23 years, beginning his career as a volunteer coach at South Miami and serving as an assistant at Archbishop Curley and La Salle before spending the past five seasons at Miami Country Day.
Miami Country Day also announced the hiring of Michele Rosamiglia as its new girls’ volleyball coach.
Rosamiglia was a two-time All-American and MVP for the Sharks’ national championship teams in 2001 and 2002. She continued her career at Barry University, where she was also an All-American and led the Buccaneers to a national title in 2004.
ANDRE C. FERNANDEZ