May 12, 2010
MADISON, Wis. – Caring, outgoing and vibrant.
Those are three words to describe Chicago native Carla Pentimone, a junior walk-on to the Wisconsin women’s hockey team.
While Pentimone wasn’t recruited to Wisconsin, she’s become an invaluable member of the Wisconsin women’s hockey team. With an emphasis on caring, Pentimone received the W Club’s Community Service Award the last two years.
Whether the team was lifting, studying or doing pre-game warm-ups, Pentimone always gave 100 percent effort. That effort translated into her willingness and overwhelming dedication to give back.
Her hard work took notice more prominently in the community service realm. Pentimone, who has a 4.0 grade point average, has spent endless hours donating her time to give back to the community.
“Whenever there is an opportunity to volunteer within the Madison community, Carla is always the first one to step up to the plate and ask how she might get involved,” said assistant coach Tracey DeKeyser. “She has a relentless passion and energy for helping those in need.”
If she was at wheelchair hockey, reading to kids, or running for a cause, Pentimone always found time to go above and beyond.
“In actuality, there is a lot of time to volunteer,” said Pentimone. “Time that is spent watching TV or doing other things, I choose to volunteer. I think it’s important to rest, but sometimes you have to make time to give back and help others.”
Her biggest fulfillment over the last year was clear with her dedication to wheelchair hockey. Every Sunday evening the Badger women’s hockey players would serve as refs and/or pushers for a number of the participants in the Rolling Flames Wheelchair Hockey program.
“I really enjoyed wheelchair hockey,” said Pentimone. “The kids went from really shy and reserved to being really competitive. Every single time it put a smile on my face to see them every week get more and more excited to be there. The whole group got really close by the end of the semester.”
While everyone on the team would make an appearance throughout the semester, Pentimone never missed a Sunday session. Sometimes it meant getting off the bus after a long road trip and heading straight to wheelchair hockey.
Pentimone is rarely seen without a smile on her face. Her thirst for life and positive attitude are felt throughout the team, and her presence never goes unnoticed. It’s her relentless positivity and hard work that got her a spot on the team, a spot that doesn’t come very easy on a three-time national championship team.
“It’s a great opportunity we have as student-athletes and it’s important to get involved in the community and give back,” Pentimone said.
Jacqueline Boscacci, UW Athletic Communications