Pride of the Wildcats: Binder and Gendelman Cross Milestone

Rye Country Day is known for academic excellence and prestige, but the school has also accomplished some amazing things in the athletic arena lately.

Published February 13, 2012 8:25 PM
3 min read


catsthumbRye Country Day is known for academic excellence and prestige, but the school has also accomplished some amazing things in the athletic arena lately.


By Kevin LaManna


Rye Country Day is known for academic excellence and prestige, but the school has also accomplished some amazing things in the athletic arena lately.


castsCarolyn Binder, a junior guard for the girls’ basketball team, and Alex Gendelman, a senior shooting guard for the boys’ team, both scored their 1,000th career point earlier this month.  


“Carolyn is a selfless, team-first player,” said head coach Margaret Scarcella. “She’s probably unaware of this but she has also met and exceeded the 500 point mark in assists. She’s a junior, but I’d love to hold on to her for as long as I can!”


Boys’ head coach Vin Minotti applauded Gendelman, who made varsity as a freshman.


“He’s been a captain since his sophomore year, and is a natural leader,” said the coach. “In his career we’ve made it to the State finals twice, and won the Fairchester Athletic Association tournament.”


Binder has been a Wildcat since eighth grade and is setting lofty goals as she begins her college search. She’s currently being recruited by the Ivy League, Pac-10, American East, and other conferences for her abilities both on the court and in the classroom.


“It’s just such an important decision, with so many variables involved,” said Binder. “There’s the school, the team, the athletic department, the teammates, the environment. I just want to make sure I weigh all my options and make the best decision for all aspects of my college experience.”  
It’s that mature, responsible attitude that has translated to success for Binder.


“Carolyn is so much more than a good player, she’s also an excellent student, leader, hard worker, and all-around great person,” said Scarcella. “She has her own workouts that she does beyond our practice schedule both early in the morning before school and on weekends. She’s such a powerful example to the other student-athletes and a pleasure to have on the team. ”  


On scoring her 1,000th point, Binder said, “I knew it was coming this season, but I told my coach and parents not to tell me. I didn’t want to compromise the team by being preoccupied with scoring, taking bad shots, or forcing baskets and making my stats the focus.”


She added, “I was more interested in winning as a team, so it came as a surprise when they stopped the game and our athletic director Wendy Haft presented me with the game ball. That’s when I got emotional.”


For Gendelman, the milestone is not only for his basketball career, but also for the entire school – he’s the first male player to reach 1,000 points in RCDS history.


“The points are great, but I’m much more concerned with our group accomplishment,” said the senior. “We started hot this year and were 10-3 early on. We then sunk into a valley and lost a couple of tough ones, but I’m happy to say that our turning point was the recent win against Greens Farms. Since then I feel like we’ve come into our own.”


Gendelman is humble when he describes the accomplishment, crediting the feat to the depth and quality of his teammates over the last few years.
“We’re a team full of guards with no real big man,” he noted. “Our success and my own is due to our ability to move the ball well as a team, with all of us looking to pass as much as shoot.”


Gendelman is headed to Vanderbilt this fall, where he hopes to walk on and play for their Division 1 team.  


When reflecting on his player’s accomplishment, Minotti smiled and said, “He really deserves it. Of all the kids who could have done this, I’m glad it was Alex.”

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