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Meet the Players Feb. 10, 2023

By Adam Levine

Sports Editor

Ashton Collazo setting up for a faceoff during Salem State game Jan. 28. Credit. Adam Levine / THE GATEPOST

Ashton Collazo

Ashton Collazo, 22, began playing hockey when he was 3 years old in the Learn to Skate Program - a year earlier than its minimum requirement. Collazo said, “They couldn't keep me off the ice, so they let me on the ice early.

“I've never really lost the passion for it,” he added.

Collazo, an accounting major, is a member of the Rams’ Class of 2025. He said he wants to work remotely as an accountant while also playing minor league professional hockey in the U.S. or Europe.

Collazo said he chose Framingham State because of its location. He said, “Coach Bailey and the campus itself came highly recommended.”

Collazo said his favorite part of FSU is the campus. He said, “The campus flows well and it's easy to find your way around.”

He said that his favorite professional hockey player is Claude Giroux, a French Canadian player. “I try to mimic his game a lot on the ice,” said Collazo.

He said his favorite part of being on the hockey team are game days. He said, “You have all your best friends on the ice with you.

“Take notice of Framingham hockey because we're getting better each year,” he added.

JD Okaor during halftime warmups of game against Elms College State Nov. 15. Credit. Wenchell Pierre / THE GATEPOST

JD Okafor

JD Okafor, 21, did not start playing basketball until he was 13 years old on his middle school team. He said, “I didn't play too much because I wasn't that good at the time.”

Originally from Boston, Okafor is a math major and a member of the Rams’ Class of 2025.

Okafor said he decided on Framingham State because of the connection he formed here when he was recruited by the former head coach of the men’s basketball program, Bill Raynor.

Okafor’s favorite professional basketball player is the late Kobe Bryant. He loves watching videos of him and watching him speak. Okafor said, “He has a lot of wisdom, and knows what he's talking about.”

Okafor said what he loves about campus is the friends he’s met as well as the culture. He added, “​​The teachers, too - they're kind and understanding.”

Okafor said he loves the overall environment of the basketball team. He referred to his team as a “brotherhood.” He said, “We all got each other at the end of the day.

“I always love the energy - just how passionate everyone is.

“It becomes a family with basketball,” Okafor added.

Katty Haidul being announced for the starting lineup in game against Salem State Jan. 21 Credit. Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST

Katty Haidul

Katty Haidul, 22, began playing basketball in second grade with her twin sister. Haidul said, “We both started playing basketball in our youth.

“We played all throughout high school together,” she added.

Haidul said she chose Framingham State because of how welcoming the team was. “I also really liked the campus and the size of it - how close everything was,” she added.

Haidul said she likes the friends that she has made on her team. She said, “I also really like our trainers and how they're hilarious when we're all together.”

On campus, she said she loves going to the Dining Commons with her friends. She said, “We are always excited for Wednesdays at dinner when the ice cream bar is out. That is the one thing that we look forward to.”

Haidul’s favorite player is Angel Reese on the women’s basketball team at Louisiana State University. She said, “I feel I relate to her and her skills.”

Haidul is a member of the Rams’ Class of 2023 and is majoring in psychology with a minor in biology. She said she wants to be a physician assistant and work in dermatology.



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