Fab duo: For the Fabbris, Quinnipiac's NCAA run is a bonus
Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri watches the action during the first half of a first round game against the Marquette in the NCAA women’s college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Coral Gables, Fla. Quinnipiac won 68-65. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — When Quinnipiac was putting together its 2014 recruiting class, there was one player in particular who Bobcats coach Tricia Fabbri was very concerned about losing to another school.
That would be her daughter.
‘I said to myself, ‘I’m not even going to be able to recruit my own kid to my own school?” Tricia Fabbri said. ‘That’s not going to look good. But like all parents, I was going to let her go where she wanted to go.’
Luckily for all involved, Carly Fabbri chose to play for her mom and passed up a chance to go to Penn. And now mother and daughter are looking to have another Sweet Sixteen party — the NCAA Tournament version. Quinnipiac plays Miami on Monday night in a second-round matchup, with the winner heading to Stockton, California, as one of the last 16 teams that will remain in the race for the national title.
‘It’s been a great experience,’ said Carly Fabbri, a junior guard for the Bobcats who was the water girl for her mom’s teams for years before becoming a standout high school player. ‘I think the opportunity for us to have made history together is really awesome. Not a lot of people can say they have A, won a game in the tournament and B, done it playing for their mom. So that’s really cool.’
Carly Fabbri has averaged about 22 minutes per game this season for the Bobcats (28-6), mostly in an off-the-bench but still integral role. She’s a facilitator first, she’s third in minutes, but only seventh in field-goals attempted. When she checks in, the impact is usually immediate — she’s pointing to open players on offense, harangues opponents on defense, all with her ponytail in a constant bounce since she never stands still.
In other words, she plays like a coach’s kid.
‘It is a mini-me out there. It really is,’ Miami coach Katie Meier said, when asked if she can see Tricia Fabbri in the way Carly Fabbri plays. ‘She’s really smart, knows what to do with the ball. Completely just the moxie that Tricia has, you see in her daughter, too.’
There can be some challenges, with the coach-player dynamic going on simultaneous to the mother-daughter dynamic.
It’s never been an issue for the Fabbris, or the Bobcats.
Carly Fabbri was voted as one of the team’s captains in each of the last two seasons, and as one would expect, often knows what her mother would want before the coach says a word.
‘I think she has kept it very professional,’ Carly Fabbri said. ‘Coach and player on the court. Off the court, obviously, it’s a bit of a different relationship than everybody else has. An awesome experience.’
Quinnipiac’s win over Marquette on Saturday in the first round was the first NCAA tourney win ever for the Bobcats. There was no special mother-daughter moment of reflection when it was over, though. That will come whenever the season ends.
So if they get their way, the Fabbris won’t be having that moment anytime soon.
‘Every lady that’s down here with me and for 22 years that I have coached has been a part of this experience and has helped us achieve what we have achieved this weekend,’ Tricia Fabbri said. ‘Every single one of those young ladies, it’s been a privilege to coach. But to share this moment with your daughter is pretty awesome.’