Countdown to #Seawolves Tip-Off: Seawolves for Life
Oct. 19, 2013
Stony Brook, N.Y. - Stony Brook has become one of the premiere research institutions in the country. Its challenging courses and dedicated athletic and academic faculty and staff position student-athletes to succeed after their playing days are over. In the latest installment of Countdown to #Seawolves Tip-Off, GoSeawolves.org catches up with three alumnae, Danielle DeGiorgio `04, Dana Ferraro `08 and Dani Klupenger `13, who produced standout careers at Stony Brook before moving on to challenging careers off the court.
DeGiorgio made 26 starts, averaged 8.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game and was an 86 percent free throw shooter during her junior season. The Shirley, N.Y., native and forward was key in Stony Brook's run to its first America East Championship title game in 2002 and posted a double-double in the finals with 10 points and 10 boards. She is now the Chief Resident of PM&R and is in the currently interviewing for a fellowship position subspecializing in sports medicine.
What has your career path been since graduation?
Upon completing my bachelors at Stony Brook, I attended medical school at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury. I then returned back to "The Brook" for my residency, specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation. During my residency training, I completed a structural acupuncture course for physicians at Harvard University. Currently the Chief Resident of PM&R, I am in the midst of interviewing for a fellowship position subspecializing in sports medicine.
How did your time at Stony Brook help you get to where you are now?
I can honestly say, I thought I had my career path all figured out. Then, at the end of my junior year, I took a phenomenal course called Drugs in the Brain taught by Professor Patricia Whitaker and realized my true calling to become a doctor. I could never say enough about the support I received from Jim Fiore (Athletics Director), Courtney Rickard (Assistant Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Development), and of course, Dr. Randy Susman (Faculty Athletics Representative). Each of them played an integral role by helping me get through what seemed to be an impossible task and achieve my dreams. I am forever grateful for the time and effort they spent preparing me academically and emotionally for the challenges that would lie ahead.
Ferraro is one of the most decorated Stony Brook women's basketball players in recent history. Named the America East Defensive Player of the Year in 2005-06, Ferraro was a two-time all-conference selection and also made the All-Rookie team as a freshman. She has remained in college athletics and currently serves as Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning at Rutgers University.
What advice would you give to current student-athletes?
Leave it all on the court. Put in the extra work, stay disciplined with your diet, do everything possible to be successful so you don't look back with regrets. Know you did everything in your power to build your program and be proud of it.
Off the court, I would recommend making as many connections as possible and cherishing them. You are representing Stony Brook women's basketball everywhere you go and you should want to have a positive impact on every person you interact with.
What is your favorite memory on the court? How about?
My favorite memory on the court is when we hosted Temple in 2005. Temple was ranked 18th in the country at the time and coached by Olympian Dawn Staley. I had to guard Candice Dupree, who was drafted by the WNBA that year and ended up making the All-Star team as a rookie in the league. We locked down, played our roles and dominated the whole game. I can still remember the final buzzer going off and how surreal of a feeling it was that we won. Some of the fans even stormed the court and we felt like superstars.
My favorite memory of Stony Brook off the court happened during my freshman year before a road trip. We had stopped down in Port Jefferson to eat before getting on the ferry, and we split up to grab lunch for the ride. I chose a health food place called Tiger Lily. While in line waiting for my food, WWE Superstar Mick Foley came up and introduced himself. He knew me by name without an introduction and said he was a big fan, which made me speechless since I grew up watching him wrestle. From then on, he attended all our home games and would stick around afterwards to say hi. I was star struck and thought it was the coolest thing that Mankind was my fan.
Though she just graduated in May, Klupenger is well on her way towards achieving her goals as a broadcaster. Known on the court for her prolific 3-point shooting abilities (she is one of only five Seawolves to nail 100 or more career triples), fans will also remember her as the inaugural host of the Get Your RED On Minute. The 2013 America East All-Academic honoree and Co-President of SAAC is now wearing orange and working for another former Seawolf, Jason Yellin, as the Multimedia Coordinator at the University of Tennessee, but we're sure the one-time Homecoming Queen will always have a special place in her heart for Stony Brook!
How did your time at Stony Brook help you get to where you are now?
I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for Stony Brook. The journalism department helped me develop my skills in reporting, shooting, editing, on-camera presence, writing and anything I could need for my current job, but the real lessons came from Stony Brook's outstanding athletic department.
Playing basketball at Stony Brook taught me so many valuable skills such as time management, public speaking and patience. Most importantly, playing basketball instilled a good work ethic in me. The athletic department allowed me to grow as a player and as a person. When I wanted to start the Get Your RED On Minute, I had so much support from the administrators. Being able to create that show allowed me the chance me to be noticed by a Stony Brook alum and my current boss, Jason Yellin.
The five values Stony Brook makes so prominent: commitment, passion, pride, respect and swagger have become the guidelines by which I live my life.
What is your favorite memory on the court? How about off the court?
My favorite memory on the court was when we played Robert Morris at home over Thanksgiving week my junior year. We were down as many as 14 points during the game and clawed back to only be down one with about 30 seconds left. We got a stop on defense then Coach O'Boyle called a timeout with about 20 seconds left. She drew up a play for me to get a shot from the 3-point line. Destiny Jacobs set a killer screen, I nailed the three and Coach O'Boyle recorded her first win with Stony Brook. It was an exciting game.
My favorite memory off the court was definitely my senior year when I won Homecoming Queen. It was so much fun to have my teammates, the men's basketball team, soccer and volleyball teams and so many others out to watch and support me at the "creative explosion" that Thursday night before the football game. Then on Homecoming Saturday, I ran from practice down to the locker room with barely any time to get dolled up for the ceremony, put my fancy dress on and sat next to my mom and friends nervously through the first half. At halftime when I was crowned, I was completely shocked and it was just a really fun moment to be able to represent Stony Brook and athletics through a new outlet.
Catch the 2013-14 Seawolves in action by calling (631) 632-WOLF, and be sure to follow @SBAthletics and @CoachOBoyle on Twitter for the latest information. Join the conversation using #Seawolves.