When it comes to Pitman High School basketball standout Abbie DiGrazia, it’s clear there are several factors responsible for her success in the sport so far: hard work, a positive attitude and an excellent support system behind her.
It was DiGrazia’s grandfather who first put a basketball in her hands, she said, inspiring her to follow in the footsteps of her mother and aunt, who both played college basketball at Chico State, as well as her father, a former collegiate basketball player who also played professionally in the Philippines. The sport is definitely a family affair for DiGrazia, and after her grandpa signed her up for a basketball league in elementary school, the rest was history.
When she’s not in the gym at PHS, shooting around at home with her grandpa or getting her homework done, DiGrazia is playing on one of the premier club basketball teams in the area.
“Starting basketball so young and playing on different teams, I got to practice being able to juggle everything,” DiGrazia said. “As I got older, it was just kind of natural to have time for it all.”
DiGrazia is a junior at PHS and a team captain for the varsity girls basketball team, which she helped lead to an 8-2 overall record this season and a second-place finish in the Central California Athletic League as the Pride’s shooting guard. At the start of her high school career she was the only freshman on the varsity team, and last year she tied the school record for most three-point field goals in a game with seven.
Following this shortened COVID season, DiGrazia was one of the Pride’s top three shooters and averaged 11.1 points per game.
While she obviously excels at the high school level, that’s not all DiGrazia does. She is in her second year with Bay Area-based team West Coast Elite, a premier Amateur Athletic Union Girls Basketball organization, and was recently promoted from the NorCal 17U Regional Team to the National Team.
As part of the National Team, DiGrazia will face much stiffer competition filled with fellow athletes with one thing on their mind: playing basketball in college. With the promotion comes more exposure at larger tournaments with more college scouts watching — something DiGrazia considers an honor after playing with the organization for just a couple of years.
DiGrazia received the news during a phone call with her former Regional Team coach and her new National Team coach, who told her that her communication skills, dedication to the sport both on and off the court, determination, energy and overall presence as a good teammate to others pushed them to consider her for the role.
“It really felt like all of my hard work was paying off, all of the days shooting outside, every workout, every drill,” DiGrazia said. “It felt like I was ready to go to that next level.”
Most of DiGrazia’s teammates on West Coast Elite are from the Bay Area, she said, and she’s the only player from the Central Valley on the team. Her grandpa drives her to practice twice and sometimes three times per week, all so that she can play at the highest possible level.
While she’s not sure what she wants to major in or where her basketball journey will take her, DiGrazia knows she wants to play at a Division-I or Division-II NCAA university. As a junior, she’s already received interest from multiple schools and her goal is to earn a scholarship.
As a young phenom who’s looking to someday play at the next level in college, her family’s support means everything — especially in a year like this.
“I definitely feel like I dodged a bullet for my senior year next year as far as recruiting. I think I’m going to do totally okay, mostly because of the support system I have,” DiGrazia said. “My grandpa and my dad are super supportive, and they lead me in the right direction. I’m not going to be lost; I’m going to have someone with me there helping me.”