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03/16/2022 12:00 AM

Sacco Nets a Plethora of Success at Westbrook

Senior captain point guard Jami Sacco finished her high school basketball career as a 1,000-point scorer for Westbrook girls’ hoops this winter. Photo courtesy of Callie Newberg

Jami Sacco’s tenure as a member of the Westbrook girls’ basketball team was nothing short of illustrious. Jami recently finished her time with the Knights by leading team as a senior captain in a season that saw the point guard score the 1,000th point of her career.

Jami reached the 1,000-point mark when Westbrook played Old Lyme on Feb. 8. It was a magical moment for Jami to accomplish that feat, especially since her mother Susan had also scored 1,000 points when she competed for the Knights. A three-time All-Shoreline Conference honoree, Jami finished career with 1,108 points at Westbrook.

“My favorite moment this season was scoring my 1,000th point against Old Lyme,” says Jami. “Just seeing the community come together to support me, especially after last year having no spectators, was an amazing feeling I won’t ever forget.”

Jami has embraced the scoring aspect of basketball from the moment she started competing in 5th grade. While producing points may be her favorite element of the game, Jami enjoys everything about playing basketball, especially spending time with her teammates.

“My strongest skill as a player is my shooting,” Jami says. “But what I love more than anything is the relationships and memories I’ve made with my team throughout these years with team pasta parties and going to UConn girls’ games at Mohegan Sun together.”

Two of Jami’s biggest influences are her parents, Susan and Stephen. Susan had an outstanding career as a basketball player at Westbrook, and Stephen also excelled on the court when he competed for Old Saybrook.

“My parents definitely played a huge role in my love and interest in this sport,” says Jami. “My mom was a great player back in the day who played for Westbrook in the '80s. She was a two-time All-State player and 1,000-point scorer. My dad was also a great player for Old Saybrook. He played alongside All-Star NBA player Vin Baker. He was All-Conference his junior and senior year.”

Jami had an outstanding senior season for the Knights by averaging 18 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks per game. Jami’s tenacity both on and off the court proved vital for a Westbrook team that took a big step up from last season by qualifying for both Shorelines and states.

“This season, we saw huge growth as a team in comparison to last year. We went from being a 1-13 team to 9-11 this year,” Jami says. “I think we really owe a lot of our success to our coaches who have instilled the philosophy of having the goal of getting better every day. Everyone always came to practice ready to work and do their best, and that was the biggest difference I’ve seen in this year. I am super proud of this team.”

Sean Donadio was in his first year as head coach of the Westbrook girls’ basketball team this season. Donadio describes Jami as an all-around force on the basketball court and calls her one of the best players that he’s ever coached.

“When people think of Jami Sacco as a basketball player, they think of her as a great scorer, but she is so much more than that. She is a complete basketball player,” says Donadio. “Jami led Westbrook in every major statistical category—scoring, rebounds, steals, assists, and blocks. Jami was able to do all of this, even though going into every game, opposing teams were solely focused on stopping her. She is a special talent who was a privilege to coach.”

Jami enjoyed working with Donadio during his first campaign on the Westbrook bench. Jami wishes that she had another opportunity to play for Donadio again next year.

“Coach D just began coaching us this year, and he’s really made a mark on Westbrook basketball. He is exactly what this school needs and hopes to really build a great program,” Jami says.

“I really admire him as a player, and I’m really sad I was only able to have him as my coach for one year. He has instilled so many leadership and family values, which not only have made us better players, but better people,” she adds.

When she graduates from Westbrook, Jami will be heading off to Storrs to attend UConn. Jami is planning on competing for the club basketball team at the home of the Huskies.

“Although I received offers to play basketball at the Division III level, I plan on going to UConn and playing club basketball there,” says Jami.