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Caledon native officially commits to Iowa State University

November 19, 2020   ·   0 Comments


Izabella Zingaro was only in grade 10. The Caledon Basketball Academy forward, had been scouted by Iowa State University and other division one school’s south of the border. 

In what would normally be a point-person initiative in the United States, when it comes to recruiting players, the Cyclones’ way is a bit different. 

“We do it as a staff. All of us were engaged and with Izzy, Jodi (Steyer) started it and I think we just took our turn with it and tried to show her and her family what the culture of Iowa State is about, what our culture is about,” said Cyclones head coach, Bill Fennelly, over the phone with the Caledon Citizen. 

Assistant Coach, Steyer always travels to Canada. It’s how the team found Zingaro and how the program discovered Minnesota Lynx guard and Chatham, Ontario native Bridget Carleton. 

When the illustrious phone call came in while with her family two years ago, Zingaro remembers being offered a scholarship like it was yesterday. 

“The emotions in that moment were crazy. I think after the call, my parents started crying. It was a really amazing feeling and I can’t get that feeling out of my head. It was really exciting,” Zingaro said last Wednesday. 

She travelled to Ames, Iowa and immediately knew she wanted to be there. She loved the small-town feel, the crowd atmosphere and the coaching staff at the university. 

And last Wednesday, the Zingaro family officially unveiled Izabella’s commitment to Iowa State in Bolton as Zingaro celebrated with her teammates, Caledon Basketball head coach Gord Everett, Ward 5 Coun. Tony Rosa and other family and friends outside of her home, which was exquisitely “decked-out” in Cyclones’ attire. 

“We are so excited. She is an amazing young person, amazing family, that’s what fits our university,” Fennelly said. 

“Her personality. Her even temperament. Her appreciation for the people who have helped her and how hard she’s worked to get to this point. All of the things I think that turn you into a great college basketball athlete.” 

From a basketball point of view, Fennelly also said the program needed a post-player and he finds it very unique, his new 6’2 forward is left-handed. 

Since taking over in 1995, head coach Fennelly has built this program from the ground up. He has amassed over 500 wins in 25 years, averaging 21 wins a season. The women’s basketball program has accomplished a pair of NCAA Elite Eight berths, five appearances in the NCAA Sweet 16, two Big-12 championship titles and a regular season conference crown. 

Zingaro is eager to learn more from him. 

“You can tell he really focuses on improving his players and he already has a feel on what he wants to work on with me on my strengths and weaknesses. I look forward to working with him in the future knowing that he’ll help me get even better,” Zingaro said. 

She says she wants to improve her range and dribbling. As a post-player she wants the ability to get out around near the three-point arc and even take some more three-point shots if available. 

Since being knocked out in the NCAA Second round two years ago to Missouri State, and this past season going 18-11 before the shutdown, Zingaro says she believes this team is heading into the right direction. 

She believes she might report to the campus next summer to train and prepare for next year’s NCAA season. 

If Team Canada calls, she will report to Team Canada women’s basketball, who are supposed to travel to Australia in 2021. Zingaro, who has been with Team Canada since the U-16 level, averaged 9.4 points and 5.0 rebounds at the 2019 U-17 National Championships last year. 

As for the Cyclones, Iowa State will begin their season next Wednesday, November 25th, as they host the Omaha Mavericks. 



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