BEACON FALLS – She calls her surgically repaired knee “Old Faithful.” She says she has a demon named “Francisco” living in her asthmatic lungs. Neither of those ills should stop her from scoring her 1,000th career point this season, but they might make the ride to the milestone fun.
Woodland senior Heather Framski has been a crucial component of the Hawks’ hardwood team since her freshman year, when she saw significant varsity time in the second half of the year and scored around 100 points to kick off her career.
Then, she averaged double-digit points her sophomore year en route to earning all-NVL second team and all-NVL suburban honors.
She one-upped herself again last season, scoring over 20 points per game while leading the Hawks to a program-best 14 wins and a Naugatuck Valley League tournament semifinal berth. Oh yeah, and she became the second Woodland basketball player on the school’s all-state banner.
So what’s in store for her final go-around? Probably much of the same, but Framski knows it won’t be easy to duplicate the feats she’s achieved thus far.
“It’s going to be difficult,” Framski says. “There are probably going to be a lot of double- and triple-teams down low and that’s where other players are going to have to step it up. The pressure’s off me and on them.”
Woodland coach Gail Cheney knows Framski is going to be the target of most opposing teams’ defenses.
“I think she knows and I know they’re going to key in on her,” Cheney says. “She’s an all-state player. That’s going to be other teams’ defenses to try to stop her. Hopefully we have players who can create a little bit more which will open up her shots.”
Framski is confident those other players, like senior guards Lindsay Feducia, Kate Tuckey, and Kelsey Deegan, along with junior forward Carli Mariotti, will be able to help her out.
“We have good shooters and good passers and people that can get the ball up the court, run an offense, and do work,” Framski says.
Woodland coach Gail Cheney likes Framski’s supporting cast but also says the all-stater has even improved her game over the offseason, particularly in the physicality department.
“She’s definitely gotten stronger since last year,” Cheney says. “I post up against her and she’s been bodying me up big time. Last year, she wasn’t that physical. I have no complaints.”
Framski has a complaint—Francisco has yet to stop inhabiting her lungs.
“Old Faithful, the knee, is fine,” Framski says. “The lungs, not so much. I’m working with my doctor to fix that. As long as every school has an outlet for my breathing machine, I’ll be all right.”
Funny, right? Oh wait…
“There’s a good chance I will be collapsing during games,” Framski says. “You think I’m kidding, but honestly I can’t even last the whole quarter. I will be getting a lot of quick breaks so I can catch my breath. I can’t be out there the whole game. It’s impossible.”
Luckily for Framski, Tuckey says she has her friend’s back on the floor should anything dramatic happen.
“Seeing as I’m her sidekick, I will go run after her and catch her before she hits the hardwood floor,” Tuckey says. “Then I’ll make sure somebody calls 911 immediately.”
As long as Francisco allows it, Framski should score her 1,000th career point in early 2011 and is in position to challenge Jen Valente’s all-time school record of 1,157 points. Tuckey is already looking forward to the historic moment.
“When Heather scores her 1,000th point, I have a fabulous plan,” Tuckey says with a blank stare, as if she’s already plotting the extravaganza.
For Framski, 1,000 career points would be a dream come true.
“It’s something that I’ve wanted since I was a freshman,” Framski says. “It means a lot. It doesn’t mean everything, it’s not like I started playing basketball to score 1,000 points. I’m here for the team, I want the team to do the best it’s ever been, but hopefully 1,000 points comes with that.”
And what about the team? Framski likes the Hawks’ usual role as an underdog.
“To everyone else we’re once again Woodland, the team doesn’t have a chance and everyone looks past,” Framski says. “I think we’re going to go farther than we did last year. It’s anyone’s game this year, in my opinion. Whoever wants it the most will get it.”
Let’s hope it’s Framski—not Francisco—who wants it most.