For Quinnipiac women’s basketball head coach Tricia Fabbri and her daughter Carly, basketball is a family matter.
Sports can make us cheer, and sports can make us cry. Sports brings people together, whether complete strangers or close relatives. For some, sports have a grip on their lives. For the Fabbri family, basketball has the tightest.
Growing up, Carly Fabbri knew that playing basketball was what she was meant to do. All her life, her mother told Carly to work hard and never stop chasing her dreams.
“I always wanted her to be the best player she could be,” coach Fabbri said.
But coach Fabbri has never actually coached Carly at any level throughout her childhood. Still, she does know the type of player Carly is, which is why she’s excited for the things Carly can accomplish over the next four years.
“I don’t say this as her mother, I say this as a coach, Carly is a great player who is going to do big things as a Bobcat,” coach Fabbri said.
Coach Fabbri’s basketball success has led her to the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Albert Carino Basketball Club of South Jersey Hall of Fame. Entering her 20th season on the sidelines for the Bobcats, with her daughter by her side, coach Fabbri and the Bobcats have their collective eye set on a national championship.
Coach Fabbri added that she feels the next four years of coaching her daughter provides a unique opportunity. And for this season, she thinks the team’s success can be greater than ever before.
“I have been fortunate to have great success and to coach some great teams here at Quinnipiac, but this season just feels different,” coach Fabbri said. “Getting to the NCAA tournament and getting to a point where you can win it all is the ultimate goal every year. But winning it with your daughter, that just makes it even more special.”
Carly has a lot to prove. Some may look at her situation and say that she has a disadvantage because people will tend to label her as just the “coach’s daughter” and not her own person or her own player,
While some look at Carly’s situation and label her just the “coach’s daughter,” Carly sees things from a different perspective. Because of her family’s background at the school, Carly knows everything about the basketball program at Quinnipiac. When she was younger, coach Fabbri’s daughter even served as the team’s watergirl while building strong relationships with some of the other players.
“They have really taken me under their wing,” Carly said. “Most of these girls I have known from just being around the team year in and year out, and they have helped me tremendously to get to where I am today.”
For Carly, playing basketball at Quinnipiac with her mom was not always inevitable. The Quinnipiac freshman had thoughts of going to the University of Pennsylvania to play basketball for some time. In the end, however, Quinnipiac was the right choice.
All along, coach Fabbri made it clear to her daughter that she had her full support no matter what decision she made.
“It would not have mattered if she came [to Quinnipiac] to play or went to the [University of Pennsylvania] to play,” coach Fabbri said. “I would have respected her decision and cheered for her wherever she went because I know she would be doing great things there as well.”
Even after dealing with two ACL injuries in her high school career, Carly enjoyed a successful four years at Lauralton Hall. She was named MSG Varsity Connecticut Player of the Year during her senior season, and built confidence during that time that she she can carry her into her collegiate career.
“I just try being my own player, you know?” Carly said. “I try not to let anything get to me and just do what I do best and that is play basketball.”
As the Bobcats’ season approaches, expectations are as high as they’ve ever been for Carly, coach Fabbri and the Bobcats.
“Winning the national championship this year for these girls is a dream come true,” coach Fabbri said. “There is nothing I want more than for my daughter and I to be able to cut the net down together.”