Judy Sylvester Inducted into Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame
On April 20, 2016, our very own Judy Sylvester was inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame! Judy was one of seven members of the 2016 class, all of whom were honored for their contributions to the enhancement of women’s basketball in Connecticut – either through participation, service, support, or achievement. Click here to read Judy’s acceptance remarks.
Judy began working full-time for CAS-CIAC upon graduating Hamden High School in 1970. At that time, the association was located across on Connolly Parkway in Hamden and the office staff totaled only three. Forty-six years and four buildings later, she continues to be a vital and integral part of the CAS-CIAC family. Judy has been the person “behind the scenes” who holds everything together and has the answer to any and every question. Said Girls’ Basketball Tournament Director Dave Maloney, “Judy is a reservoir of information that no file, no handbook, no program could possible compete with. Whether fielding a phone call from an athletic director, coach, lawyer, or member of the media, Judy capably handles each and every inquiry with dignity and poise.”
Before the advent of computers and emails, Judy was, in addition to many other responsibilities, responsible for typing all of the individual school rosters, season records, tournament packets and brackets for each sport. Her incredible memory for details and people proved invaluable to the many volunteer tournament directors as the CIAC continued to add oversight for many new sports programs.
Executive Director Karissa Niehoff stated, “For over 40 years, Judy Sylvester has devoted her time, talents and love to the people and programs of CAS-CIAC. She holds the history of the association in her head and warmth for every person touched by her work in her heart. There is no one more dedicated, humble, or knowledgeable. She delivers grit with grace and is always ready to support those around her. She is certainly deserving of Hall of Fame recognition!”
Judy’s excellence has not gone unnoticed over the years. In 1989, the Connecticut High School Coaches Association presented her with the Thomas R. Monahan President’s Honor Award. In that same year, Judy also became the only non-member to receive a CAS Citation, the association’s highest honor. In her Citation, then CAS President H. Jean Kenney called her “the lady who knows the CIAC as no one else does.” In 1993, the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors awarded her a Certificate of Appreciation for Service, Dedication and Contributions to the Professional Growth of Connecticut’s Athletic Administrators. In 1998, CAAD honored her again with the Distinguished Service Award Outside the Field of Athletic Administration for her “unparalleled efficiency and expediency in assisting all of us in our needs and inquisitions that have been more than could ever reasonably be expected of any one person.” In 2011, the CIAC Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball Committees dedicated the state tournament to her in recognition of her countless contributions to high school basketball which spanned over four decades.
Judy’s competitive side, focus, and dedication show in every facet of her life. Outside the walls of the CAS-CIAC office, Judy has a well-documented history and holds an impressive reputation in the world of Duckpin Bowling. She was inducted into the Connecticut Duckpin Hall of Fame in 1989 for Superior Performance and into the National Women’s Professional Duckpin Association Hall of Fame in 1994, also for Superior Performance. For 15 years, she was ranked one of the top three women in the state, ranking first in the state three times. During her career, she has been ranked in the top 20 bowlers nationally ten times, with a highest ranking of third from 1977-1978. Judy has won 20 tournaments all over the state, and nationally she won three Ladies Pro Tours and one All Star Classic setting eight state and two national records for singles and mixed high-game and high-set scores. In October of 2000, the Connecticut Bowlers Association awarded her the Millennium Award – Bowler of the Century, ranked eighth in the state.
Judy lives in Hamden with her husband, Bruce, a retired teacher and coach. She has two daughters, Jennifer, who also works at the CAS office, and Christine, a pastry chef at Millwright’s in Simsbury.
For more information on the 2016 Hall of Fame inductees, visit http://www.ctwomensbasketballhalloffame.com/.