Teresa Polini-Cunniff, the Wildwood High School girls basketball coach and a former player for the Warriors, has been selected into the South Jersey Basketball Hall of Fame.
As a player, Polini-Cunniff led Wildwood to its first state Group I girls basketball championship in 1991. She later returned to become an assistant coach for longtime coach Dave Troiano for 21 seasons. Polini-Cunniff became the head coach last winter after Troiano retired, and she guided the Warriors to 20-8 in her first season.
The Albert Carino Basketball Club of South Jersey made the selections to the Hall of Fame. Bill Hiltner, Chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee, said the induction ceremony will begin 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 10 at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill.
“Obviously, I’m thrilled,” said Troiano about Polini-Cunniff’s selection. “She certainly deserves it. Besides her stellar career at Wildwood, she played at Mitchell Junior College and Rutgers.
Then she came back and assisted for me for 21 years. It’s like a storybook. She played at Wildwood, came back to assist and became the coach.
“She paid her dues and she certainly deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I couldn’t be happier for her.”
The other inductees this year are Clarence Jackson (Cherokee), Joyce Moffitt Klinewski (Cherry Hill West), Father Ed Lyons, who started the Seagull Classic basketball tournament, Terrell Baker (Pennsauken Tech), Donna Seybold (Collingswood), Brian Zoubek (Haddonfield) and Matt Brady (Paul VI).
Polini-Cunniff scored 1,305 points at Wildwood and was, at the time, the all-time scoring leader. As a player, she led the Warriors to three Cape-Atlantic League National Division titles, four Big Four titles, two South Jersey Group I titles and one state title. After the 1991 season, she was named The Press Player of the Year, and was chosen second-team All-State and first-team All-Group I.
At Mitchell, of New London, Connecticut, she scored 1,068 points in two years and was a junior college All-American. At Rutgers, she helped the Scarlet Knights to the Atlantic 10 Conference championship in 1994.
An all-around athlete, she was also a CAL all-star in softball and tennis. She is also currently the Wildwood softball coach.
For tickets to the Hall of Fame induction, contact Jack Mongulla, the Vice President/Treasurer of the Albert Carino Basketball Club, at 856-461-8800 or send a payment ($35 per ticket) to 41 Emery Way, Delanco, N.J., 08075.