Thursday, September 1, 2016

Berube Overcomes Torn ACL, Earns D-I Scholarship

The town of Londonderry continues to produce basketball talent. Londonderry High's girls basketball team won back-to-back state titles in 2014 &a 2015 and the boys team went undefeated in 2015. Now, the town has produced yet another scholarship basketball player, as 6-foot-2 senior forward Ashley Berube has accepted an offer from Central Connecticut State University. Aliza Simpson (UNH), Cody Ball (Saint Anselm), Casey Evans (Saint Michael's) and Caleb Green (Holy Cross) are the others. Once again, Londonderry is the basketball capital of NH.

Berube announced her commitment to CCSU Thursday on Twitter. The Blue Devils are coached by Beryl Piper and play in the highly competitive Division I Northeast Conference. Berube overcomes a torn ACL injury and earns the scholarship.

"I think the best thing about CCSU other than the amazing campus definitely had to be the coaching staff" Berube told the NH Notebook. "I connected with each one and really enjoyed my time each visit. I was receiving interest from UMass Lowell, Adelphi, Franklin Pierce, UMass Amherst, and a couple others this AAU season. CCSU was the best fit for me because of distance with family reasons and the opportunity to play in such a great conference."

It's been a roller coaster ride for Berube. She went from a sophomore playing limited minutes off the bench for a state championship team at Londonderry, to being the top player in NHIAA D-I basketball as a junior. She was the most dominant big in the state, averaging about 16 points, 12 rebounds and 7 blocks a game, but then suffered a torn ACL injury in Londonderry's state tournament win over Exeter. She watched from the sidelines as her Lancers teammates won their second title in a row, was out for 8 months rehabbing her knee, transferred from Londonderry to the Tilton School, came back from the injury, helped lead Tilton to the NEPSAC championship and now she's a D-I scholarship player committing to CCSU.

"The hardest part about coming back from my ACL injury was definitely the mental part" admitted Berube. "The physical part included lots of hard work getting back in shape, but it's a much harder task coming back mentally. I returned from my injury in January and I really have to thank both my parents (being physical therapists) pushing me so hard to come back as fast as possible. My recovery only took 8 months which I couldn't have been happier about. Along with my parents some of my biggest supporters were Scott Hazelton, Tara Brisson, and Nick Theos. Without these people I certainly would not be the player I am today."

Berube is one of the rare few who have won both an NHIAA and a NEPSAC basketball championship.

"Winning both NHIAA and NEPSAC titles have both been highlights, but I have to say the NEPSAC championship was more enjoyable because I had just come back from my injury and got to play" Berube explained. "Of course watching my team step up in the NHIAA state title game was amazing, I have to say playing in a state championship is much more enjoyable than watching.

While Berube has put in a ton of hard work in the gym, she credits much of her success to Coach Hazelton with the Rivals and Tilton head coach Tara Brisson.

"I've been playing for the Rivals since I was in 7th grade and that is honestly what shaped me into the player I am" Berube pointed out. "For those of you who know Scott he demands the best from his players and I've loved playing for him. Going to Tilton last year really helped me get into even better shape, playing every day and having Brisson always pushing me to be better."

And sure, being 6-foot-2 definitely helps for basketball. But is there anything that Berube doesn't like about being a tall girl?

"I've always been tall growing up and I honestly have no problems with it" Berube concluded. "I always get the question 'do you play basketball?' because of my height and I just go along with it and enjoy the attention!"

A great player who has persevered to achieve her goals - and still has a sense of humor.

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