Diane Trznya is a huge basketball fan.
It started before her high school days, but grew as her Bound Brook, N.J. High School girls team made it to the state finals. She played forward on the team all four years of high school.
With a love of the sport, she volunteered as the first director of the basketball program for the Optimist Club of Marco Island.
It was supposed to be a two-year term, but she led the program for five years, just recently stepping down.
Tom Garousi, the Optimist Club's first president, lauded Trzyna's abilities.
"Diane is one of a kind," he said. "She brought a lot of energy to the program."
Terese Glasser, former Optimist Club president, said, "Diane has been dedicated to the program, and the Optimist Club. Diane, Kim Burke (baseball) and Bob Poling (soccer) have been outstanding program directors."
Glasser said Trzyna has been very supportive of all the programs and volunteering for fundraising.
Trzyna first started coaching YMCA basketball in 2001. She coached her daughter Morgan and then son Gregory in 2003.
She's not interested in college or professional basketball.
"I like to teach fundamentals and having fun," she said. "College and the pros seem to be about the three-point shot. Kids want to play like NBA stars. Optimist is a recreation league, to teach young players. We are a feeder system for middle school, especially for girls."
Not only was she the director, she usually coached two teams a season.
During her years she tried to make team as even as possible.
"It is not about wins and losses," she said.
At the start of each season players are assessed by their abilities and are placed in categories by age and ability.
"Then the coaches make blind picks from each category," she said. "Sometimes players, coaches and parents aren't happy because friends can be split up due to their ability and not end up on the same team."
The league has Kindergarten and first grade, boys second and third grades, girls second through fourth grades, boys fourth and fifth grades, girls fifth through seventh grades, and boys sixth through eighth grades.
The Optimist Club tries to make sports reasonable, with $40 the charge fore basketball, which covers uniforms and one paid referee. Lely High School students help out and earn school volunteer hours for their participation. Son Gregory and Morgan Dulski ran the concession stand Colton Hale ran the score clock.
Trzyna stepped down to allow younger couples with families to take over.
"I think it is time for young parents to come forward," she said. The program's groundwork over the first five years has been done, leaving the next director in a good position to have success.