Seton Hill University (SHU) junior Clare Berenato gained national recognition as a member of the Youngstown Baller’s team on the new television show Sky Ball League (SBL). Using skills from athletic ventures and life at SHU, Berenato auditioned and travelled to Hollywood to compete for the show.
“Being at SHU for two years has taught me to go with the flow and when opportunity is knocking at my door, open the door and let it in. I had the courage to go to the tryout and take the trip out to Hollywood,” she said.
Sky Ball originated as a unique toy that is “the highest bouncing ball ever made” according to the Maui Toys website. Reaching heights of 75 feet, the Sky Ball allows for a high paced and technical game.
“Control skills are the most important in this game. The ball is extremely bouncy therefore you have to have the ability to control the ball while dribbling through defenders, all while keeping your head up so you can see your teammates up court,” said Berenato.
Berenato heard about auditions from her brother, a fellow athlete, and decided to try out just a week before the Saturday auditions.
“I had no idea what Sky Ball was but I went because he wanted me to. I went to the Youngstown tryouts and before I knew it I had an all expense paid trip to Hollywood to compete for $45,000!” said Berenato.
SBL may have been new to Berenato, but she had definite sports experience at SHU. Among her many other SHU activities, Berenato has played for the SHU Women’s Basketball team for the last two years.
Berenato was one of 2 female players on the 8 person, co-ed SBL team. Four teams from across the country competed in SBL’s first year of completion including the Tampa (FL) Dragons, the Austin (TX) Stars, the Youngstown (PA) Ballers and the LA (CA) 405’s.
“My favorite memory was telling my brother Andrew, who couldn’t make it to the tryouts, that I was going to Hollywood and he missed his chance! We are a very competitive family so it was very funny!” said Berenato whose family, while being completely supportive, was jealous of her opportunity.
The first season of SBL, featuring Berenato and her team, will show every Saturday and Sunday on Fox Sports Prime Ticket, Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Arizona, New York Sports Network, Comcast Sportsnet New England and Comcast Sportsnet Chicago.
“We look forward to SBL becoming something that people enjoy doing, watching and participating in,” said SBL President Brian Kessler. In the coming years, the league hopes to expand to more cities and more young talents.