By MADELINE CLARK
with additional reporting by Josh Kaufmann
Milton High School (MHS) senior Cassidy Button scored her career 1000th point during the MHS varsity women’s 40-26 victory over Middlebury Union High School, this Tuesday. It’s a goal she’s held for quite some time and an accomplishment that feels “surreal,” she said.
“It feels really amazing,” Button said. “It’s really cool to see all of my hard work paying off.”
Button has been hard at work playing basketball since she was a child. Her father, Glen Button, was the men’s varsity coach in Fairfax and led summer camps, which she’d attend to get the ins and outs of the game.
“My parents definitely wanted me to play basketball,” she said. “But it ultimately was my decision; I’ve always loved it.”
Button started playing competitively in fifth grade and never looked back. Her springs and summers were full of Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) practices and getting shots in whenever the gym was open. “I put in a lot of work in the off-season,” she said.
During her high school career she’s played six days per week in a mix of practices and games. Button has held varsity status during all four years of her tenure and was declared her team’s most valuable player for offense in both her sophomore and junior seasons. This year, she has scored over 20 points in 12 games, according to Glen Button.
“I’m so proud of her,” coach Alissa Giroux said. Although it’s Giroux’s inaugural year as MHS varsity women’s basketball coach, she’s worked with Button for three years through AAU.
“[With] her overall attitude and mindset it’s not a surprise that she is where she is at in her career,” Giroux said, adding it’s been fun to push Button in practice each day. “I am so thankful that I am able to stand next to her while she accomplishes these huge goals.”
Going into the game, Tuesday, Button said she’d treat it like any other. “I take it one game at a time and I just try to give it my all every single time I step out onto the court,” she said. “I just want to play well for my teammates.”
Milton easily pushed past Middlebury, doubling up the Tigers at the half, 18-9, before ultimately claiming the win. Ivy Doran led the Tigers with 13 points. Button scored a baker’s dozen of her own in the game, including her career 1,000th.
Button’s teammates have been a great help to her during recent transitions; MHS has seen four new coaches in just as many years.
“It is tough coming in every year and having to learn how to adapt to a new coach,” Button said. “But I just think that’s what has made my teammates and I so much stronger as a team.”
“I definitely owe a lot of credit to my teammates and coaches and family,” she continued. Her parents, grandparents and siblings attend many of her games. She likes to see them in the stands and planned to give them hugs after scoring her 1000th point.
Button’s achievement comes on the tail of MHS varsity men’s basketball senior Ian Jennings’ identical feat made in a game against Mt. Abraham last month. She is the ninth MHS student to make this accomplishment and joins three of the high school’s women players.
Looking ahead, Button said she doubts she’ll play competitively in college. She hopes to attend the University of Rhode Island or the University of New Hampshire, both division one athletics schools. While she may soon be off the court, Button said her time on it has helped inform her future path.
Button’s experience playing Unified Basketball with students who have developmental disabilities helped her discover an interest in psychology and a desire to work with kids who have disabilities, she said.
Of course Button will miss her team, coaches and the opportunity to compete when she graduates this spring, she said.
“It’s just a super positive environment this year and it’s such a good way to end senior year,” Button said. “I’m so thankful to live in such an amazing community and I’m just thankful for everybody who has supported me and my teammates throughout the years.”
In the Feb. 7 edition, the Independent reported that Ian Jennings was the fourth boys basketball player from Milton High School to score over 1,000 career points. The family of Erwin Devino, MHS men’s basketball player, claims Devino scored a career 1,000 points during his time on the team between 1960-63. MTSD athletics said it’s likely he made the achievement, which would add one more to that list. They are currently verifying the claim.