By: Simone Walker
She went from being the show, to running the show.
Former Adelphi University women’s basketball player Mali Klorczyk is back on campus another year as a graduate assistant in the university’s sports information office.
After her historical 2019- ‘20 basketball season came to an abrupt end, the 22-year-old sports management major from Sandy Hook, Connecticut, knew she wasn’t ready to move on quite yet.
In March 2020, the Adelphi women’s basketball team had finished atop of the Northeast-10 (NE-10) Conference with an impressive record of 27-3, giving them the number one seed in the eastern bracket of the NCAA tournament. The team was looking forward to making a deep run before Covid-19 dashed their dreams. Klorcyzk believed the team had what it took to succeed.
“It was just a group that cliqued,” she said. “We were so willing to listen. We knew that we had the potential to do it, and it was just a matter of putting our heads together and doing it.”
Klorcyzk was a key member as a starting guard, according to Adelphi women’s basketball head coach Missy Traversi. “Every day she was one of our hardest workers for four years. She was a consummate teammate,” she said.
Besides playing basketball, Klorczyk also assisted the Adelphi Athletics Department as a student worker throughout her four years as an undergrad. When it came time to say goodbye after earning her bachelor’s degree in exercise science in May 2020, Klorcyzk decided she wanted to stay.
“I never thought New York City, let alone Long Island would be a place I would ever go to…As soon as I came to Adelphi, I knew this is where I wanted to be,” she said. “I knew that Adelphi had two graduate programs that I was interested in, and I had worked in the Athletics departments. I figured why not ask and see what my options are here.”
Five months after her senior season was cancelled, Klorcyzk accepted the position as a graduate assistant and arrived for her fifth year back on campus.
In her new role, she helps to keep the Adelphi Athletic Department running smoothly and efficiently. If not for Covid delaying sporting events, Klorcyzk’s main responsibilities would be producing content for the AU website, such as tracking stats, writing biographies for new student-athletes and writing cover stories.
Instead, like just about everyone else, Klorcyzk and the rest of the Athletics staff have had to make adjustments to their work. During the pandemic, the department is focusing on updating the school’s athletics page.
In addition to sticking around Adelphi, Klorcyzk plans to stick around the game she loves. While the two-time NE-10 Regular Season Champion already coaches a team in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) based out of Hartford, she has interest in being a basketball trainer and would someday like to coach at the collegiate level.
“It’s been a part of my life, and I feel like once you’ve built a relationship with something like that for so long, you can’t just leave it,” she said.
Her former coach also believes Klorcyzk has what it takes to run a team. “I would love to see Mali coach. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her; she is an outstanding human being,” Traversi said.
Klorcyzk plans on taking things one step at a time while keeping an open mind.
“With the world we’re growing up in, there are so many opportunities,” she said.