Mount Alumna Shoots For Gold

Wheeling area residents and other West Virginians have an international interest in the London Olympics.

Great Britain’s Olympic women’s basketball team includes forward Chantelle Handy, a graduate of Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy and Marshall University.

Handy, who grew up in Durham, England, came to Wheeling at age 16 to study and play basketball. Prior to arriving in the States, she had attended Prodhoe Community High School in Durham.

She graduated in 2006 from the Mount, where she was a star of the private school’s fabled basketball team. Handy earned a scholarship to Marshall, where she also was a leading basketball player for the Thundering Herd women. She played in 122 games at Marshall. She completed her studies at the university in 2010.

According to Handy’s blog on the Great Britain basketball website, she “established herself as an all-round contributor in NCAA basketball” at Marshall and she was “third overall in conference USA field-goal percentage” in her senior year.

The blog states that Handy, who is now 25 years old, “began an impressive rookie professional season in Greece with Aris in 2010-11, when she also played in EuroCup Women … She completed the season with Slovak team Ruzomberok, helping them to the league’s final. She moved back to Greece to play for leading team Athinaikos in 2011.”

In addition, Handy’s biography states that “she also led the Futures team in scoring at the 2011 World University Games in China” while playing for Great Britain and she was a starter for Great Britain at the 2011 EuroBasket Women Finals in Lithuania.

The British team reached the second round of the EuroBasket tournament.

Handy is one of 12 players selected to represent Great Britain at the Olympics.

According to media accounts, Team Great Britain has beaten four of the top 12 women’s teams in the world leading up to the London Olympic Games.

Of course, U.S. Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps also has a local connection. His mother, Debbie, is a former Fairmont State College roommate of Wheeling educator Becky Sinclair.

The Lawrencefield Bed and Breakfast – where the Wheeling Symphony auxiliary is holding its Farm to Fork event Saturday, Aug. 25 – was the subject of a feature article in the June issue of Wonderful West Virginia magazine.

The B&B, operated by Terry and Millie North, current owners of the historic property, is situated in a “farmhouse” built in the mid-19th century for members of the McColloch family. The large residence is located at 360 Table Rock Lane, outside Wheeling.

Colleen Anderson, author of the magazine piece, described her entry to the estate as being “like stepping back in time and into a world of privileged gentry.”

Anderson makes note of Farm to Fork, “a gala farm-to-table event.” Vicky Musicaro, one of the organizers of the upcoming symphony fundraiser, is quoted in the magazine article, praising the facility and lauding the Norths.

“We are very happy to be working with the Lawrencefield B&B for the first time,” Musicaro is quoted as saying. “They have worked so hard. What a beautiful location.”

A memorial service for the Rt. Rev. Robert P. Atkinson, a former Episcopal bishop in West Virginia, will be held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Greenwood, Va., Saturday, Aug. 4. Atkinson, 84, died July 4 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Atkinson began his ministry as an assistant rector at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wheeling in the mid-1950s. He was consecrated as bishop coadjutor in 1973, in a service conducted at St. Matthew’s.

He served as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia from 1976-88 and served as assistant bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia from 1989-93.

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: