The Cushing girls’ basketball program is a program rich in tradition and success; a tradition of excellence in performance, sportsmanship, and player development and success in both team and individual achievement. Playing a competitive Class B schedule that also includes games against some of the best Class A programs in New England – Phillips Exeter, Worcester Academy, Northfield Mt. Hermon, and Buckingham Brown and Nichols among others – Cushing has qualified for the New England tournament ten of the last twelve years. Progressing to the semi-finals or finals five of those years, the Penguins emerged in 2007 as New England champions.
Cushing employs an aggressive, up-tempo style of play that involves a full complement of players, not only the starters. Approaching the teaching of basketball from a holistic perspective, Cushing’s coaches emphasize not just team execution but also individual skills development, an understanding of larger game concepts, and the development of sportsmanship and leadership. Over the past fifteen years these goals have served Cushing’s girls well. Whether you aspire to play in college or are relatively new to the sport, there is a place for you in our program.
A review of past rosters highlights the many and varied accomplishments of the young women who have competed as members of the Cushing girls’ basketball program: over a dozen graduates going on to play at the collegiate level, many multi-sport athletes and honors list students, multiple campus leaders, and numerous winners of some of the school’s most prestigious awards. The ethos of our program asks each girl to focus not only on achieving success in basketball but also to committing herself to the larger values of the school community and to achieving the best of which she is capable in all areas of school life. Again, this focus has served Cushing’s young women exceptionally well.
The 2016-17 season marked the beginning of a new era in Cushing basketball. With the opening of the new Watkins Field House, Cushing will now plays its home games in a state-of-the-art facility. Additionally, as Coach Roller and Coach Bala begin their second decade working together, the experience and stability they bring to the program provide a strong foundation for future growth and success.
Emily Roller arrived at Cushing in the fall of 2002 after her graduation from Columbia University and three years as a legal assistant and case manager at the New York City law firm of Cravath, Swaine and Moore. She grew up in Marion, Massachusetts, and attended Tabor Academy, where she was a three-sport varsity athlete. While at Columbia, Ms. Roller was a four-year starter on the women’s basketball team and enjoyed majoring in sociology and exploring the many community service opportunities afforded by New York City. At Cushing, Ms. Roller has taught math, served as a dorm head, and coached Varsity Girls' Lacrosse. Currently, she enjoys working full-time in College Counseling, coaching Varsity Girls’ Basketball, and serving as a dorm parent in Lowe Hall. During her summers and school holidays, you can find her traveling to new destinations, training to compete in her next charity event, or spending time with her family and friends.
A graduate of Colby College and Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English, Raja Bala joined the ranks of the Cushing faculty in the fall of 2006. Prior to that, he taught English and history at an independent day school in Boston and helmed its athletic program for six years as the Athletic Director. At Cushing, Mr. Bala teaches Senior English and AP English Language and Composition and can be found on most winter afternoons in the Field House coaching Varsity Girls’ Basketball. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, he has become a proud member of Red Sox Nation and lives off campus with his wife, Liz, and their two sons. Mr. Bala loves to spend as much time as possible outdoors, especially in the proximity of New England’s glorious trout streams.
39 School Street Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430 978-827-7000 email@example.com
Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.