Monongahela Middle School has the pleasure of being graced with the presence of a Hall of Famer on a daily basis when Veronica Snyder shows up for work.
Snyder, the school nurse for the past four years at Monongahela, was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame on April 9 at Cannstatter’s in Northeast Philadelphia in front of her family, friends, colleagues, former teammates and classmates from over the years.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Snyder was a standout basketball star and became a Parade High School All-American and McDonald’s All-American. During her senior year at St. Hubert Catholic High School For Girls, Snyder was nationally ranked as one of the top 15 players in the country.
She was heavily recruited by Division I programs, eventually choosing to attend and play for Rutgers University, on a full scholarship, where she took her team to the NCAA tournament’s Elite 8.
All of this led to finally being recognized with one of PA’s highest sports honors.
“It was a nice surprise,” Snyder said. “I was definitely humbled and honored at the same time.”
She thought it was extra special considering her home state acknowledged her accomplishments throughout her career.
Snyder was the only female to be inducted in this year’s class, which made it extra special, but she does think it would be nice if there was more female representation for next year’s inductees.
After college, she went to nursing school and has been in that field for the past 26 years, where she was led to Monongahela Middle School.
“Monongahela has a wonderful administration, and colleagues, teachers and staff here are truly amazing. It’s a privilege to work with the people that I work with,” she said.
When Snyder isn’t tending to wounds or ailments; she’s back on the court coaching the girl’s basketball team. Snyder has been the coach for the past three years.
She knows what it takes to be a great athlete and player and wants to instill that in her players as well.
“I want to teach them the life skills on and off the court, I especially enjoy that,” she said. “I like to share with them that it is OK to be a fierce competitor, but that it is OK to be kind player as well.”
She is very proud of her players. Snyder was able to reach out to the coaching staff at her alma mater and take the students to a women’s basketball game at Rutgers University. The Monongahela Middle School students got the opportunity to meet the team and spend time on the court.
“They had an amazing time and it was so nice to spend a day with them outside of school have them have this experience,” said Snyder.
Snyder is looking forward to the next season after going through last season’s rebuilding year. Growing as a team is very important for her.
“The seventh-graders will hopefully step up and take a leadership role,” she said. “I’m excited to meet the new sixth-graders coming in and to have them work hard, continue to get better at their game and learn the game a little more.”
Just because it’s a new season doesn’t mean her goals have changed. She wants her girls to be great players, but also to be great in their own right.
“The bar is raised high, because, like I tell the girls, you represent yourself, you represent your families and you represent Monongahela Middle School,” she said.
Snyder will have more celebrating to do as National Nurses Week is from May 6 to 12.