Community News
Irvington News
Our Schools

Yale-Bound Senior Credits Irvington Hoops Success with Fostering Her Maturity

• Bookmarks: 66


March 5, 2021

By Tom Pedulla—

Grace Thybulle will never forget the trepidation she experienced when she joined the Irvington girls’ varsity basketball team as an eighth grader.

Advertisement
  • Abbott House Awards Dinner
  • Irvington Theater Videos for Change

She was still feeling her way in many ways – on the court, in the classroom, in social circles.

“You are finding who you are, trying to fit in,” Thybulle recalled.

She credits Coach Gina Maher and Barbara Constantine, Maher’s long-time assistant, with helping to transform her into the accomplished Yale-bound senior she is now.

“Because of basketball, I am a confident person,” Thybulle said. “I am confident in my abilities, not just on the court but also as a person.”

Thybulle praised the atmosphere Maher and Constantine have fostered, one in which players come to treat everyone in the program as family while meeting high expectations. Irvington reached the state finals in each of Thybulle’s first two seasons before winning it all when she made a major contribution as a sophomore.

“It makes you feel valued,” Thybulle said of the tradition-rich program. “They know so much about basketball, but they also know so much about being powerful women.”

According to Thybulle, she has achieved a 4.4 grade-point average, one of many reasons she was heavily recruited by a large number of colleges and universities, including most members of the Ivy League. She committed to Yale last August before the recruiting process could become even more intense.

The 6-3, 190-pound Thybulle has made steady strides on the court. She poured in 16 points and was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player when Irvington thumped Section 5 champion Midlakes, 71-38, in Troy, N.Y., to win its sixth state championship under Maher in 2019. She seemingly improves with every game.

Maher describes Thybulle’s progress as “incredible.” That feeling of being lost on the floor is long gone.

“She sees the whole court and this is something that emerges as you grow into the game,” Maher said. “She is a very intelligent young woman, and she has a very good basketball IQ at this point.”

Over time, Thybulle developed into a greater offensive and defensive force. When her team needs a big basket and she is intent on scoring, she can be nearly impossible to deny. Opponents are constantly aware of her when she is playing defense with her ability to either block or alter shots. They will often settle for a poorer shot rather than challenge her.

“I think one of the biggest improvements she’s made is her physicality, her foot movement, her differentiating between outside and inside shots and being able to do both,” Maher said. “Her moves to the basket have improved incredibly.”

Thybulle is using her pandemic-abbreviated senior season to focus on enhancing her leadership skills. “The path I’ve always taken is being approachable to my teammates and expressing how much I care about them because I think we are more successful when there is that positive affirmation and acceptance,” she said. “It just makes people perform better.”

Thybulle made only two overnight visits before deciding on Yale. “Leaving that visit, I just knew that was where I had to commit,” she said. “I was just so in love with the people. I love the coaching staff. I’m just super excited about how I will fit in there.”

She plans to major in environmental engineering.

Maher has no doubt that Thybulle will continue on the same successful path she blazed at Irvington.

“I think Grace can do anything she wants to do. She’s a very strong young woman,” Maher said. “Whether it be athletics or academics or social issues, she works very hard and in a positive way.”

As one magnificent journey approaches the end for Thybulle, perhaps an even greater one will soon begin.

Share the News!
Advertisement
Andrea Martone - Westchester and Rivertowns Real Estate - Houlihan Lawrence agent

Election 2021: Experiences with Village Motivated Bartolacci to Seek Office

By Rick Pezzullo — When Peter Bartolacci submitted plans to construct two-tiered retaining walls in the rear and side yards...
Read More

Recipe: Farmers Market Fall Pasta

By Linda Viertel — Before everyone dives into squash recipes, apple pie baking and root vegetable roasts, take time to...
Read More

Homecoming Night a Treat for Horsemen Football Fans

By Kevin Brown — Last Friday night (Oct. 8), the world seemed back to normal at Sleepy Hollow High School....
Read More

Mercy Adjuncts Escalate Pay, Benefits Dispute

By Brianna Staudt — Picket signs and hand-distributed flyers greeted cars at the gate of the prestigious Ardsley Country Club...
Read More

Senior Captain Regalado Big Reason Dobbs Ferry Has High Hopes

By Tom Pedulla--- Jose Regalado’s father, Francisco, would not allow him to play football until he reached the sixth grade...
Read More

Sleepy Hollow Says Good-bye to Chick Galella

By Brianna Staudt — Family, friends and neighbors laid beloved World War II hero and public figure Armando "Chick" Galella...
Read More

Greenburgh’s First Town Hall Farmers Market Attracts Hundreds; Encore Thursday

By Linda Viertel — Hundreds of shoppers flowed through the parking lot at Greenburgh Town Hall for the first ever...
Read More

Former Mayor Fixell Endorses Brown in Tarrytown Mayoral Race

By Rick Pezzullo — One of the three candidates running for mayor in the Village of Tarrytown recently received a...
Read More

Five Express Interest In Developing Property Leased by Boat Club

By Barrett Seaman— The Washington Irving Boat Club was joined by four other parties in submitting RFQ/RFI (Request for Qualifications/Request...
Read More

ARMANDO ‘CHICK’ GALELLA, HERO, DIES AT 100

By Brianna Staudt — Sleepy Hollow may be host to "The Legend (of Sleepy Hollow)," but locals of North Tarrytown...
Read More
66 recommended
1204 views
bookmark icon