NDA Basketball Honors One Legacy While Building Another

Sophomore Ava Orlando is making history at NDA already eclipsing the 1,000 point mark earlier this year.

February 22, 2023 – Story and photos by Joshua Ross

For the 5th year in a row, Notre Dame Academy held their annual Jessica Bradbury Adams Classic in honor of the late Hingham resident and NDA basketball coach. A graduate of NDA in ’97, she went on to be the assistant basketball coach from 2011 until her passing from breast cancer in 2017. She was also a board member of the South Shore Special Needs Athletic Program and involved in Hingham soccer and lacrosse programs.  Her husband Bobby and children Owen and Quinn were on hand for the games this past week.

“The JBA Classic weekend embodies Jess’s spirit in a way that makes our family so proud,” Bobby tells the Anchor.  “Her legacy lives on everyday in our community and this tournament is the perfect way to celebrate what she meant to everyone.”

The Classic also featured Bishop Stang, Silver Lake, and Ursuline Academy.  In previous years, the tournament has been held at Hingham High School.

South Shore SNAP President Warren Pelissier makes a few remarks before the second game of the first day of the JBA Classic.

“Our team looks forward to this event every year,” head coach Nickie Orlando said.  “We appreciate the support of her family Bobby, Owen, and Quinn and the NDA administration to have Jessica’s spirit live on with our basketball program.  We really appreciate Ursuline, Bishop Stang and Silver Lake participating.”

While the NDA, Hingham, and SNAP communities honor one legacy, a new legacy of the Orlando family is taking shape.

Sophomore Ava, freshman Elle, and head coach (mom) Nickie are certainly transforming the program.  The dynamic sisters have lead the scoring in basically every game this season, as well as last season, when Elle was an 8th grader.  They are surrounded by a core group of younger players that have the potential to be a force in Massachusetts high school basketball for years to come.  Ava has already passed the 1,000 point mark as a sophomore.  This season started off slow, but they finished strong  by winning 9 of their last 10 and ending with a 14-6 record earning a spot in the playoffs.

Junior captain Lola Paradis drives to the basket in NDA’s win over Silver Lake in the JBA Classic.

“We started off with two losses and we were trying to figure out what worked best for the team,” said junior Lola Paradis. “What defense worked best for us, what trappings, what position people played.  Sophia Danick, who didn’t really play much last year, came into the center position and has been doing a great job.   We’re a smaller team. We’re not really good at rebounding, so in practices we worked a lot on rebounding and worked the ball around as a team and I think we’ve gotten better over the season. We’re capitalizing on our chances. We obviously have great three point shooters so we are setting things up for them.”

“Them” are the Orlando sisters.  In three games ending with the Silver Lake on Sunday, Elle had made 21 3-pointers – eight vs Silver Lake, seven vs Boston Latin, and six vs Barnstable. In the JBA championship game, Ava had 24 points.  It’s a deadly one, two combination, which given their age, teams will have to contend with for awhile.

Freshman Elle Orlando makes a rare two pointer during the Silver Lake game. The 3-point specialist scored 21 of them over a three game stretch recently.

The team’s only captain, Summer Foraste, happens to also be the team’s only senior. A unique position on a very young, but very talented team and one she enjoys.

“It’s going great,” Foraste said with a smile. “At the beginning of the season, being the only senior and the only captain it was a bit nerve-racking, but it’s such a great group of underclassmen.  They really are so talented and we really just try and make each other better everyday and there’s not really a hierarchy based on seniority or based on being an underclassman or upperclassman.  We’re all just one team playing for the same thing.  We all just work together and we are all friends.”

Captain Summer Foraste, a Hingham resident, enjoys being the only senior on the team and having a friendly in-town rivalry with her friends at Hingham High School.

Foraste also lives in Hingham.  She’s very familiar with the other High School girls basketball program in town.  One that has gotten much of the attention over the years.  Maybe this year, the Cougars can steal some of the thunder away from the Harborwomen.

“It’s definitely exciting,” said Foraste. “I have a ton of friends on the Hingham team.  It’s a great group.  I love all those girls who are seniors.  But it’s definitely exciting to be on a team that’s doing so well, peaking at the right moment and I think we have so many talented underclassmen.  This isn’t going to be a one and done type season.  I feel like this is going to continue to grow after I’m gone.”

This success is something Jessica Adams would have been proud of and wouldn’t mind at all sharing the spotlight with the next generation of Cougar basketball players.

“I didn’t know her,” Foraste went on to say about Adams. “But we’ve talked to Bobby every year he has come in, since my freshman year. I really started to learn more about her my junior year when I was on the team.  It been a really great experience to honor her. Not that I knew her personally, but I feel like I’ve gotten to know her through her family.  It’s been a really wonderful experience and it makes this tournament and this week so special for us.  We really look forward to it every year.”


Happening in Hingham

6:30 pm @ Congregation Sha’aray Shalom
@ Congregation Sha’aray Shalom
Mar 24 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Make our Jewish Home Your Jewish Home Congregation Sha’aray Shalom Come and learn about our community, meet our clergy and leadership, and see why Congregation Sha’aray Shalom is the right place for you and your family!  Join us for a very special Shabbat celebration: Pre-Neg – Shabbat Appetizers & Service Friday March 24 – 6:30 ...

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