Karissa Antoine de Schalmont brings energy and a full game


ROTTERDAM – If a high school basketball game is over during regulation play, there are 32 minutes available to compete. Schalmont second-year striker Karissa Antoine, perhaps as much as any player in Section II, revel in every opportunity presented to her on the pitch and try to extract whatever she can. of those 32 minutes. This passion for gambling, however, is not just confined to games.

“She has energy everywhere: in the gym, in training, all the time,” said Schalmont senior guard Payton Graber, the program’s all-time top scorer. “It doesn’t matter if it’s basketball or school related, she’s always in a good mood and brings a good mood every day to training.”

“She loves the game and is one of the easiest kids to coach I have had in my career,” said Schalmont coach Jeff Van Hoesen. “She is always eager to learn and wants to improve.”

“I like to give energy and bring it back to my teammates,” said Antoine. “I think that pushes us all. If either of us has a bad game, bringing in energy goes a long way. I love to have fun. It’s great to go out there and see everyone. to smile.”

Now in his third season as a starter for the Sabers, currently No.4 in the Class B State poll, Antoine has significantly upped his game this season with averages of 21.2 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game.

Schalmont suffered his first loss of the season on Tuesday when he lost a 57-49 decision to Colonie, a Class AA team now 7-0 and ranked No. 14 in the state. Antoine delivered 18 points and 17 rebounds in the loss, then provided his coach with an uplifting start the next day.

“We lose the game. The first child in my room (Wednesday) with a smile on her face and saying she was looking forward to training after school was Karissa,” Van Hoesen said. “She cleaned my whiteboard with notes on Colony and talked to me for 30 minutes.”

Antoine’s love for the game is easily evident on the floor. The 5-foot-11 star brings so much to the ground for the Sabers with her ability to score in paint, run on the ground or carry the ball to the basket on transition herself and shoot from the perimeter.

“I’ve always been pushed by my AAU coach Terrance (Florence with NY Havoc) and by coach Van Hoesen to be this more versatile player and not just to be a post player,” said Antoine. “I’ve always been told that if you want to expand your game and take it to the next level, you have to become that versatile player.”

“She can play anywhere on the floor. If we were in a place where we put her, we could do a few sets with her,” Van Hoesen said. “Even as a seventh grader, when we worked together with the JV and the university, she was playing very well on post and away for us. She could easily have played for us as a student. seventh grade, but we decided to keep her on the JV so she could gain experience at that level. “

When asked what it might be like to face Antoine if she plays for another team, Graber said. “I’m grateful that I don’t have to. She does it all. Besides the energy she always brings, she always comes back on defense. Knowing that we have her there makes things a lot easier for him. our team.”

Antoine said having Graber and Haley Burchhardt on the team proved to be vital for her when she graduated from college. The senior guard tandem were both brought up in college as seventh graders and are currently in their sixth college campaign with the Sabers.

“They didn’t see me as this little eighth grader trying to get back to their job. They were so welcoming,” Antoine said. “They took me under their wing and showed me how the university works. They are definitely my older sisters. I feel like it definitely benefited me as a person and a player. It’s good to have this opportunity as a young player to be in college for two and a half years. It made me more mature as a person and broadened my mind. “

Antoine’s love for basketball developed from an early age. Although she got involved in activities such as cheerleading, soccer, and tennis, it was basketball that caught her interest. As an elementary school student, Antoine remembers seeing his uncle, Albany Academy graduate Chris Pelcher, play Division I basketball in New Hampshire after starting his college career with Iona.

The sophomore landed her first Division I offer in July from Manhattan and she also visited Siena College. His collegial interest is growing and will increase even more in the spring on the AAU circuit.

“It feels good that the work I have put in has not been wasted,” said Antoine. “As long as I keep my head straight and keep working, I can take it further and take my career where I want it to go.”

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