Jackie Piddock’s hovering inventory as a basketball recruit surprises nobody however her –

Syracuse, N.Y. — South Jefferson guard Jackie Piddock had a vague notion about how good Jennifer Rizzotti was back in her playing days.

Rizzotti is a Hall of Famer who turned in an All-American career at UConn, leading the Huskies to their first-ever national title in 1995.

But the true level of Rizzotti’s greatness was driven home by a recent video sent to her by an assistant at George Washington University. Rizzotti is head coach of that program and is recruiting Piddock, a junior. Clips of her playing days were included in the school’s sales pitch.

Piddock, understandably, was wowed by what she saw. She was even more amazed by what she subsequently heard.

Piddock got on a Zoom call with Rizzotti, and in the middle of the talk Rizzotti offered her a scholarship. Piddock had a sense the coach was interested in her, but hadn’t expected her to put the cards on the table right then and there.

“It was really actually a shock,” Piddock said. “Going into the Zoom call, I had no idea they were going to offer me anything. The way she was welcoming was really nice. I was like initially, ‘’Oh my God, no way, thank you.’”

Piddock added Rizzotti’s offer to similar ones she’s already gotten from fellow Division I programs Manhattan, Marist and Niagara. She hopes to make a choice among those schools, and likely several others, sometime after Jan. 1.

“It’s been pretty fun so far. It’s nice to hear about all the different colleges, all these coaches I’m building new relationships with,” she said.

Piddock is one of the best girls basketball players in the state and was named the winner of’s Ms. Basketball Award last year, so the avid interest in her college services doesn’t come as any surprise.

Well, perhaps except to Piddock herself. She thought she might have a college opportunity somewhere, but severely undersold her own potential.

“I’m the biggest critic of myself. I didn’t think any colleges would be interested in me,” she said. “It (recruiting) is a little nerve-wracking because it is my future. It’s taking the next step in my life.”

If a winter sports season is held as scheduled amid the coronavirus, Piddock should keep widening her options.

New Hartford junior Kaia Henderson is the active Section III girls points leader with 1,898 but Piddock is right behind with 1,862. If they stay healthy and a full season is played, both could this year pass current all-time leader Emily Durr of Utica Notre Dame (2,445).

“I didn’t know I was that close to anything like that,” Piddock said. “I know I had a decent amount of points. I didn’t know I was up there with players like that.”

Piddock would normally be playing soccer now but South Jefferson’s fall sports seasons have been postponed. Practices with her AAU team, the New York Havoc, end this weekend. That squad has been working out on outdoor courts owned by one of the players, and the dipping thermometer is about to render that option untenable.

Piddock admits she’s a “little on edge” about the uncertainty of winter sports. But, naturally, she has a backup plan if there’s no scholastic basketball. She said she’s prepped to do ball-handling drills in her garage and, yes, shovel away the snow for some winter driveway shooting.

“Ah yes. You just bundle up,” Piddock said of that option. “I’m going to have to find a gym, maybe. I’m not too sure. Everyone’s in the same situation. Hopefully we’ll find out soon what’s going to happen, if anything’s going to happen.

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Lindsay Kramer is a reporter for the Syracuse Post-Standard and Got a comment or idea for a story? He can be reached via email at

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