Denise Solis remembers vividly her freshman year, a season where the Windsor Warriors went 4-16 during the 2015-16 season.
“We didn’t have a lot of organization,” Solis recalled.
She also remembers the first team meeting of her sophomore season with the new Windsor’s girls basketball coach: Kendrick Moore.
“He set some ground rules, things we were supposed to do, things he expected for us to do to be successful,” Solis said.
The Warriors had a regular-season record of 11-9 two seasons ago and 15-5 last year. And now, Solis becomes Moore’s first NCAA Division I player. She will sign a national letter of intent this week to play basketball at UMass-Lowell next season.
“It means a lot to me. This has been my goal since the beginning of high school,” Solis said. “(UMass-Lowell) has a good nursing program and a good basketball program. It’s a good environment and has good class sizes.”
It’s also Windsor’s first Division I recruit in over a decade, according to Moore, a school and community resource coordinator at the high school.
Moore said Solis, a 6-foot-1 forward/center, also received offers from Bryant and Illinois-Chicago.
“She’s able to run the floor, put the ball on the floor, shoot with range and she is an excellent defender,” Moore said. “She is the epitome of an unselfish team player. She’s also an all-academic performer (in the CCC). When I say she can do everything, I meant it. Denise is a well-rounded individual.”
If the name Kendrick Moore rings a bell, well, it should. He was a starting guard on those dominating Hartford Public teams that won back-to-back Class LL state championships in 1993 and 1994. He was both the New Haven Register and Gatorade’s Connecticut Player of the Year.
Moore also went on to start at both Missouri and Providence before going into collegiate coaching, working on the staffs at Hartford, Manhattan and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
(Moore) has helped me be more versatile and confident in myself,” Solis said.