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East Rockaway senior Rocks her way to 1,000th point on the basketball court

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When East Rockaway High School senior athlete Brooke DeGiulio watched the basketball swish through the net to mark her 1,000th point against Friends Academy on Jan. 19, she described it as a weight coming off of her shoulders.

“It kind of was like a sigh of relief because I knew it was coming and I knew I was only 2 points away, so it kind of felt like the pressure was on a little bit,” DeGiulio said. “Everyone was really happy for me and excited.”

DeGiulio became just the fifth Rocks player in history — and third member of the girls’ basketball team — to reach the milestone. It was special, she said, because many of her family members were in attendance, including her grandmother who flew up from Florida.

East Rockaway went on to defeat Friends Academy, 57-19, in a game that DeGiulio said she wouldn’t soon forget. She noted that she was unaware of the looming historic feat until her coach, Karen Leary, told her she was two points away two days before the game.

Leary described DeGiulio as a wonderful person, a strong leader on and off the court and a tremendous athlete. “She worked hard,” Leary said. “She accomplished this in four years, which is another huge accomplishment and something she has been striving for. She worked hard in the offseason to achieve this and it’s an awesome achievement for her.”

DeGiulio said she was initially drawn to basketball after watching her older siblings, Brittany, Leanna and Dominic, play for East Rockaway. She first took the court when she was in first grade and has been playing ever since.

Athletic Director David Barth praised DeGiulio for her determination. “She’s only the fifth player in school history to do this,” he said. “She’s a tremendous leader and is really looked upon by most of her peers for everything she does off the court as well.”

The 1,000th point was the culmination of a goal that DeGiulio set for herself when she was in seventh grade. She said she is still deciding where she will attend college and that wherever she goes, she intends to continue her basketball career while majoring in education.

“I have a love for the game,” DeGiulio said. “It was a nice feeling to know that everyone was right behind me and supporting me and to know that I was able to do it.”