NORTH ANDOVER — Not many people can say they spent their summer winning a gold medal for Team USA, but Merrimack junior guard Chloe Rothman can.
Rothman spent most of this past July in Israel playing for Team USA at the Maccabiah Games. She only tried out after some urging from her high-school teammate, Sophie Bikofsky, who is a forward at Brown University and is one of the best 3-point shooters in Division 1 with a .497 percentage this winter.
“She was one of my best friends in high school and she was the one actually going to try out,” Rothman said.
“She told me where it was, and it was only in New York, so it’s a quick bus ride, so I went down there. It was an intimidating tryout. There were a lot of Division 1 players there. I was one of only three Division 2 players to make the team, so it was intimidating but fun. I don’t think I would have even tried out for the team if it wasn’t for her.”
Both Rothman and Bikofsky made the team, putting the friends, who have been close since about fifth grade, back in the same uniform for the first time since they went 21-2 as high school seniors at Newton South.
Rothman says she hopes they’ll be able to play again in the future, but if not, winning a gold medal and erasing the heartache of a state tournament upset loss their senior season was a nice way to stamp their playing days together.
“For both of us to make the team was incredible,” said the 5-7 junior guard. “Not only to get the chance to travel to Israel and play for Team USA, but to do it with one of your best friends?
It doesn’t really get any better than that. We played together in high school and we had a disappointing end to our senior year.