High School Player
Susan Altieri recalls one tournament in which she competed while at North Haven High School where her team wasn't exactly the favorite – “that's probably why we were invited!” she said. The Indians won and if Susan wasn't already hooked on basketball, that occasion certainly sealed it.
“I can still remember all the joy and happiness and fun that I was having with my teammates, who were also my good friends,” she said. “… I think it was just the pure enjoyment I felt when I was playing and being with my teammates, along with all the fond memories that I carry with me.”
Susan, a 1981 North Haven graduate and three-sport star, finished her basketball career with 1,294 points, an average of 24.6 points per game, without a 3-point line. The Indians' point guard, she added an average of 8.3 assists and 1.9 steals per game, receiving all-state and All-Housatonic League honors and earning herself a Division I scholarship to Providence College. A member of the North Haven Sports Hall of Fame, she also played four years each of softball and volleyball, being named all-league and all-state in both and leading the volleyball team to back-to-back state championships in 1979-80. Susan is enshrined in the Connecticut Scholastic and Collegiate Softball Hall of Fame and has also been honored by the New Haven Tap-Off Club.
She went on to play basketball at Providence, where she was a member of the Friars' first Big East Conference championship team, and also softball, graduating in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in humanities. Susan is currently an assessor for the Town of Granby. She has remained competitive, winning a gold medal in basketball in the Nutmeg State Games, and has served as a high school volleyball official for the past 15 years. She also enjoys outdoor activities such as golf, kayaking and snowshoeing. She thanks her family for supporting her and also looks up to her former North Haven basketball coach, Marge Dolan, who will present Susan with her Hall of Fame award tonight.
“She did what was best for her players and she instilled teamwork, confidence, discipline, integrity and hard work in her players,” Susan said of Dolan. “She respected the game, the officials, her players and she taught her players to stand up for what you believe in and do the right thing. She led by example.”
“She's probably one of the best basketball players to come out of North Haven,” Dolan said of her former player. “The whole idea of Sue Altieri, she was small, but she played like 5-foot-7, 5-8. She was small, but she was very dynamic and very smart. She was like our secret weapon. No one would block her; they would jump and she would hang in the air for 15 minutes and then make the shot and you'd say, 'Whoa, where'd that come from?' She was that good. Statistically, she was that good. She was excellent for the time women's basketball was coming into its own. They were challenging, but awesome days and Sue was in the middle of it.”