Before each game, Colorado Academy’s Girls Basketball Coach Cyndi Graziano (known to her players as “Coach G”) gives each player a “quote sheet.” The paper includes a positive quote that speaks to the upcoming game plan, strengths for the player to remember, and areas of growth. It’s just one of the many ways she continues to lead the Girls Basketball program with a “team first” mentality.
Growing up in Salida, Colorado, Graziano says she knew early on that basketball was a passion of hers. Post high school, she left Colorado to attend the University of Nebraska at Kearney. After playing with the Lopers for one year, a knee injury led to her transferring to Regis University back in Denver. Graziano earned her undergraduate degree in Education & Social Social Sciences before completing a master’s degree in Curriculum and Assessment from Adams State University.
Graziano has been a dedicated educator for the last 11 years at Bear Creek High School, where she teaches AP World History and leads the Social Studies Department. She also assists with special needs students and provides expertise on two Jefferson County School District committees.
Coach G began her head-coaching career at La Junta High School and led the team to the state tournament in each of her six seasons with the program. Then, she coached at Elizabeth High School and Bear Creek High School before coaching at Colorado Academy. Graziano says, “The community support, the responsible students, and the authentic conversations” inspire her to continue coaching at CA. She describes her team as a positive one that takes pride in the basketball program and the school.
In her second year as head of the program at CA, she says she wants to focus primarily on being an excellent defensive team. She says she also wants to improve the team’s offensive discipline, patience, confidence, self-motivation, and fluidity. All of this is while also creating a positive outlook and family feel for each of the girls. “Players challenge each other to get better, and it’s great to see!”
Graziano hopes to see growth and development in the lower level girls teams and to continue working on more opportunities for players to improve in the off-season. She is also excited for the new Field House and current gym renovation, because “it will provide more practice spaces and storage. It will also open the doors for new traditions while building on old ones.”