It’s not easy for a girl in the city of Warwick to grow up playing basketball. Without a youth league specifically for girls like some cities and towns have, opportunities are limited.
Casey Bennett didn’t mind taking the hard way.
“I have three brothers so I would always play with them,” she said. “I played at the Boys & Girls Club and I was one of the only girls there.”
It’s safe to say the boys prepared her well.
Bennett, a junior, has been a varsity starter since her freshman year at Vets and she continued to emerge this season as one of the best scorers in the division – and as the ‘Canes’ most important player.
“I started varsity as a freshman, which was a little nerve-wracking,” she said. “I was more timid then but as the years went on, I knew I had to step up.”
On a team full of players without big basketball backgrounds, Bennett was a steadying force. She played the point and rarely left the floor. When her defensive-minded team needed points, she had the green light.
“I needed to score, but I also had to help everybody else score too,” she said. “I felt like it was my job to bring the team together.”
The ‘Canes had a tough season. It got off to a promising start, but they finished just 3-13 in league play and missed out on the playoffs.
Still, there were positives.
“I feel like we really worked as a team this year,” Bennett said. “A lot of the girls don’t have a big basketball background but as the year went on, we really came together as a team.”
And Bennett did what she could to keep Vets competitive. She averaged 14.5 points per game, which was good for 16th in the state.
Bennett also plays soccer and lacrosse for Vets and she’s exploring the possibilities of playing soccer in college. But next winter, she’ll still be on the basketball court, doing whatever she can to make Vets a contender.
“We’re losing some great seniors, but we’ve got a good group coming back,” she said. “We’ll be alright.”