Ministry of Education, Guyana

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Tuesday, 08 August 2017 10:33

U.S Embassy Sports programme Envoys meet Minister Henry 

The U.S. Embassy has commenced hosting a Sports Envoy Program from August 2 to 4, 2017. During their visit, the Envoys will engage with Guyanese youth and coaches through sports clinics, which will include training regimens and techniques, physical fitness and nutrition.news 20170807 2

On Wednesday the group paid a courtesy call on Hon. Minister Nicolette Henry at her Main and Quamina Street Office.  These Sports Envoys are Ms. Agnus Berenato, who has earned a reputation of turning around struggling programs and building them into winners; and Mr. Elvis Valcarcel, Assistant Coach of the New Orleans Pelicans. They were accompanied by Allison Feaster, a former WNBA player who now works for the NBA basketball operations team also present was U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer, Amanda Cauldwell.
 
Who is Elvis Valcarcel?
Elvis Valcarcel begins his third season with the Pelicans, his second as an assistant coach after serving as a special assistant to the head coach during the 2015-16 season. Valcarcel joined the Pelicans after serving as the video coordinator for the Sacramento Kings from 2013-15.
Before joining the Kings, Valcarcel was the video coordinator for the Phoenix Suns from 2009-13 after serving as the assistant video coordinator during the 2008-09 season. While with the Suns, Valcarcel also was an assistant coach for the Suns’ NBA Summer League squad in 2010 and 2012 and did advance scouting in 2011 and 2012. Valcarcel was also the video coordinator for the Phoenix Mercury in 2009 when they won the WNBA championship. Prior to Phoenix, Valcarcel worked two years as an administrative assistant/video coordinator for the men’s basketball program at Seton Hall University.
From Union City, N.J., Valcarcel earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Rutgers University.
 
Meet Agnus Berenato
Agnus Berenato has earned a reputation of turning around struggling programs and building them into winners. After one season as the head coach of the Kennesaw State women’s basketball program, Berenato has shown signs of building upon that legacy.
In her first season leading the Owls, Berenato guided Kennesaw State to a 10-20 overall record, 8-6 ASUN Conference mark, and the program’s highest seed in the league’s postseason championship. KSU, which won eight of its final 12 games, hosted a tournament game for the first time, defeating NJIT, 62-60, and advanced to the ASUN Championship semifinals for the second time.
Under Berenato’s leadership, Kennesaw State had four players earn ASUN Conference postseason honors. Carlotta Gianolla was unanimously voted Freshman of the Year and selected to the All-Freshman team, while senior Deandrea Sawyers was tabbed second team All-ASUN Conference by the league’s coaches.
The Owls also proved to be winners in the classroom as juniors Chloe Branch and Clara Young were named to the ASUN Conference’s All-Academic team.
Berenato came to Kennesaw State with the distinction of being the winningest coach at the University of Pittsburgh and the second-winningest at Georgia Tech.
The 30-year coaching veteran has also enjoyed success on the recruiting trail since being hired on March 30, 2016 as she signed nine players who will join the program in the fall, including the Georgia 6A Player of the Year.
Within three years of assuming head-coaching duties at Georgia Tech, she led the Yellow Jackets to the 1992 WNIT championship. The next year, Tech made its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Two years after taking the helm at Pitt, the Panthers rattled off five consecutive postseason berths, including back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16’s in 2008 and 2009.
Berenato has won 454 games in her 30-year head coaching career that spans four years at Rider University, 15 at Georgia Tech, 10 at Pitt and one at Kennesaw State. Her teams have competed in the postseason 11 times.
On the court, Berenato has mentored five players to All-America recognition -- from Georgia Tech: Joyce Pierce, Kisha Ford and Sonja Mallory and from Pittsburgh: Shavonte Zellous and Marcedes Walker. Her players achieved 21 all-conference honors at Pitt, and 16 more at Georgia Tech.
Berenato emphasizes the development of the total person, and her student-athletes have complimented athletic success with academic achievement. Every one of her student-athletes who have completed their eligibility has graduated.
She is recognized as an inspirational leader and motivator and a dynamic public speaker, while also giving back in the community. Additionally, Berenato actively serves as a mentor to several former student-athletes and assistant coaches, who continue to impact the game of women’s basketball.
A 1980 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md., Berenato earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and was a three-year starter on the basketball team. Playing for former NBA star Fred Carter, she was a two-time captain for the Mountaineers. Following eight years of service on the college’s Board of Trustees, she is now a Trustee Emeritus.
Named an ACC Women’s Basketball Legend in 2014, Berenato was recognized on two occasions as a Division I Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club. She has been inducted into the South Jersey Hall of Fame, the Rider College Hall of Fame and the Mount St. Mary’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
In May of 2009, Berenato was awarded with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Seton Hall University and delivered the commencement speech to its spring graduates. She also holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from her alma mater, Mount St. Mary’s.
The product of a basketball family, Berenato’s sister is Bernadette McGlade, a former Georgia Tech head coach and now the commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
A native of Gloucester City, N.J., Berenato and her husband Jack have five children: Theresa Marie, Andrew, Joey, Clare and Christina.
 
 
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