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The New England Lady Gators!



The Wrentham, Massachusetts based Lady Gators Basketball Organization was founded by Leo Maloney in 1992 with the idea of giving girls the opportunity to learn the game of basketball, develop basic skills, meet and make new friends, and have the chance to work towards a common goal. The teams consist of players from various locations throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The Lady Gators have had a great deal of success since their inception.  In 1992 the Gators earned a place in history when they were honored with a team display in the NBA Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. for holding a team to 3 points during a tournament game.

In the 1992-93 season the Gators posted an amazing 32-8 record, and won the Fort Devens Invitational Girls Tournament by being the only team to go undefeated.

The 1993-94 Gators had only one returning player to the team, but had a season beyond expectations, posting a record of 32-13. They won the Eastern Division Championship of the South Shore Girls Basketball League, and were runners up in both the League championship game and also the Milford Invitational Girls Tournament. The Lady Gators then went on to win the Championship of the Eastern Ontario Goodwill games held in Ottawa, Canada.  All in all a great season!

In the spring of 1995 the Lady Gators became members of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) – New England Association.  The Lady Gators entered 6 tournaments throughout New England and New York.  The Gators were extremely successful winning 2 championships out of the 6 tournaments they entered.

In October of 1995 the Lady Gators became members of the Youth Basketball of America Association (YBOA) based in Florida and shortly thereafter were qualified to represent Massachusetts in the 15 year old girls division in the YBOA National Championship Tournament which was held in Orlando, Florida July 6-14, 1996.

In 1995 The Lady Gators hosted their first AAU Girls Basketball Tournament in June – “Shootout Classic” at Wheaton College in Norton, and have since seen the tournament grow to 120 teams and added a second tournament in early April – “Spring Fling” at Clark University in Worcester, Ma. which has drawn 137 teams from all areas of the country.  Both tournaments have become amongst the biggest in New England. 

During the 1996 AAU season the Lady Gators won tournament championships in New Hampshire, Connecticut and Maine receiving gold medals in all three tournaments.  They also received silver medals in the Connecticut and New Jersey tournaments.

In July of 1996 and 1997 the Lady Gators participated in the YBOA National Championship Tournament held in Polk County, Florida.   The Lady Gators finished the overall tournament by being ranked #8 in the US in both the 15 year old division and the 16 year old division respectively.  The team received trophies along with individual medals for each player. 

Our goal of competing in a National Championship tournament was fulfilled, and being ranked #8 in the country two years in a row was an accomplishment beyond our expectations.  This deed was accomplished only through hard work and team spirit from both players and coaches.

In 1998 the Gators broke their team season high wins record by getting 41 wins with only 14 losses, including being crowned Champions of the Portlaise Invitational tournament held in Ireland.

In the spring of 1999 the Lady Gators expanded the organization to 4 teams, including a 12 year old team, two 14 year old teams and a 16 year old team, with a total of 36 players from all over Massachusetts.

Each team participated in 13 tournaments totaling 52 games per team, a huge but successful undertaking.  The 4 teams won a total of 5 Championships during the spring/summer season, which was far beyond our expectations when we expanded.

In 2000, the Lady Gators organization traveled south to the YBOA National Championships in Polk County, Florida.  The 17 year old Lady Gators finished off an impressive regular season by finishing 5th in the nation!  The 15 year old Gators capped off their season with an 8th place Nationals finish.  Competing in the National Championships was a learning experience for all teams involved and will be a memory that will be cherished forever.

In 2001, the 14 and 16 year old Lady Gators teams traveled to Ireland where they went undefeated, made new friends, and had a great vacation.

Also in 2001, the Lady Gators announced their new sister team in Wicklow Ireland.

In 2002, the Lady Gators had 11U and 15U teams. The 11U team had a very impressive 28 and 12 season. The 15U team had a 21-win season with an exciting final game in Vermont with the team winning in spectacular fashion, playing with only 4 players for the last 5 minutes of the game.

In 2003, the Lady Gators had five teams: 11U, 12U, two 14U, and a 16U Team. The 12U team continued their winning ways with a 33 and 7 record and hopes for the state championship next year. Six of the members of the 12U team joined a Walpole town team to participate in the Bay State Games and won the Gold Medal. They subsequently played in the State Games of America in Hartford Connecticut and won the Gold Medal for their age division. The 16U team had a 500 season but an outstanding second half record of 15 and 5.

In 2004, the Lady Gators had two teams, 12/13U and 16/17U, that had very successful seasons.

After finishing with the 16U Lady Gators in the fall of 2004, Coach Palizza moved his priorities to Rhode Island, where he formed a 12U team. Due to a late start, the Lady Gators played the 2005 Spring season with only 9 players on their roster. The girls were very hard-working and team-oriented. The team was also very inexperienced and played strictly man-to-man defense. They got off to a slow start going 0-8. However, they finished the last part of the season 5-7 for a 5-15 record overall. Things began to turn around for the Lady Gators when Nikki Ellis hit a last second shot for the team's first win in a 28-27 victory over the Weson Fillies.

In the Fall of 2005, the team added some new players and with more experience, they went 5-6.

At tryouts for Spring 2006, we had a large number of girls come out for the team. As 13U's and playing in the "A" bracket of the tournaments we attended, the Lady Gators went 19-12. This included a 9-2 streak over the last 3 tournaments. few of the girl's more exciting victories were a hard-fought 48-38 win over the Providence Lady Pride, a 44-42 nailbiter over the New Hampshire Roadrunners and a very up-tempo 55-44 win over Dana Barros in which the Gators hit 8 3-point shots.

I would like to thank my staff, the families of the Gators who made many sacrifices for their daughters to play basketball and to the many people who sponsor and support the organization, but, most of all the players, who make up the Lady Gators Basketball organization.

Leo Maloney
Director of the Lady Gators

Leo J. Maloney, Director
Lady Gators Basketball
5 Nottingham Way
Stoneham, MA 02180
Phone: 781-438-6163
email: leojmaloney@yahoo.com