Jessica Porada's mother, Veronica, has plenty of faith in her daughter's basketball abilities.
However, she felt there was a possibility that Jessica, in need of 20 points to reach 1,000, would not reach the milestone when Ursinus played Haverford, a perennial power in the Centennial Conference on Feb. 18.
So, her mother left the specialty cookies she had bought for the occasion in the car. She recalled the heartbreak Jessica experienced against Haverford as a freshman when she broke her hand, ending her season.
The cookies were needed, after all. Porada's grandparents, among the fans on hand for the special occasion, were sent to the parking lot to retrieve them. Porada, a 2012 graduate of Morris Catholic High School and a resident of Morristown, hit 1,001 with 8:18 left in the second half when she dropped in a layup after a baseline out-of-bounds play. Porada, a 6-foot junior forward, finished with 25 points in a 70-62 setback.
"No one was allowed to touch those cookies," Jessica said. "My mom assumed that I wouldn't get it that game because Haverford is such a good team. I wasn't worried. I knew I'd get there eventually."
Porada, who did not score 1,000 while in high school, was thrilled to gain the distinction in college.
"I was really, really happy," Porada said. "I've been working toward it. In high school, I never really thought about it. I was never the main scorer. I just played."
Porada, named to the All-Centennial second team for the second year in a row, was outstanding for the Bears, averaging 16.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game as a junior. Two weeks before reaching 1,000, she scored a career-high 27 points in a one-point loss to Dickinson.
Among those in attendance to witness Porada's 1,000th point were family members, friends and her sorority sisters from Sigma Sigma Sigma. On the court to share the moment was one of her closest friends and roommate, guard Alyssa Polimeni, also a junior. Polimeni, who went to Governor Livingston, and Porada have known one another since middle school when they played AAU ball for the Garden State Sharpshooters under the direction of Bob Cerrato.
"Being on the same team as Alyssa has been one of the highlights of my career," said Porada, who is majoring in biology with the intention of becoming an occcupational therapist. "We haven't won any championships or anything but we've grown as basketball players."
In addition to the cookies, Porada received a painted game ball and a banner for achieving the feat.
Porada has improved steadily since freshman year when she said other teams "shut me down in the post." In order to be more productive, Porada stepped back and worked on mid-range and 3-point shots. She had to become stronger and faster to thrive in college.
"I think I've gotten a lot better," Porada said. "Being a scorer helps my confidence. It's made me a better leader. I understand the game more."
Her mother felt that Jessica should treasure her 1,000th point more because it came against Haverford.
"She told me that I got something back from them," Porada said.
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