Former Island hoops star and professional bodybuilder Kassie Alnwick is now a published author – SILive.com

Grant City native and current Columbia County resident Kassie Alnwick, 51, was a star cager at Moore Catholic and Wagner College during her playing days, but now she’s empowering women off the hardwood.

Alnwick, formerly Kassie Hornbuckle, competed as a professional international bodybuilder while moonlighting as a personal trainer before retiring from competition in 2015 — now she’s utilizing some of her own experiences to help inspire women through her recently self-published book Borrow My Tribe.

Alnwick’s message is clear: women can be empowered through healthy living — spiritually and financially.

PLAYING DAYS

Following an excellent career at Moore Catholic, Alnwick accepted a full athletic scholarship to Wagner College in 1986.

During her time at MC, Alnwick played alongside legendary hoopster Sue Harnett — the first player to accrue 2,000 career points on Staten Island, a mark that stood until Kelsey Carey broke the record in 2013.

Though she admittedly isn’t in love with the sport, she came to realize she was pretty good at it.

In fact, Alnwick’s first love was tennis, which she also played at both schools.

“There are people like fellow She-Hawk Maureen Hannafin, who could say they truly loved basketball..I, on the other hand, liked it and I knew there was an endgame in playing it,” explained Alnwick.

“I knew in fifth grade a scholarship was in my future if I wanted it, and by eighth grade I knew I wanted it, and I worked for it,” she added.

During her time at WC, Alnwick helped lead the Seahawks to the 1989 NEC title, accruing all-tourney honors in the process.

But getting to that point wasn’t easy.

Prior to the ’89 season, Alnwick was struck by a car while riding her bike — rendering her to the hospital, rehabbing from surgery.

Alnwick missed the start of the ’89 campaign while recovering, but her rehab opened new doors for her.

“I spent two weeks training with free weights and something changed within me,” said Alnwick. “I felt as if a titanium beam was placed within my body, so I could look at life and say “is that all you got? Feel free, bring it.

“Basketball gave me the opportunity to work toward a goal, move through challenges, and experience success,” she added.

Along with her experiences on the court, Alnwick developed lifelong relationships with her teammates.

“I had amazing friends [at Wagner], lifelong friends,” explained Alnwick. “Every time I go back it’s amazing to see how close we still are.

“Being part of a team makes the college experience that much more special,” she added.

One thing Alnwick doesn’t miss from her playing days, is former Wagner coach Gela Mikalauskas’ intense practices.

“I’d rather go through childbirth than one of her practices,” joked Alnwick. “It was about the life lessons more than the trophies.”

IN THE GYM

Alnwick finished her senior season on a high note before graduating from Wagner in 1990 with a degree in education.

She worked for nearly seven years as a special education teacher before transitioning into personal training and bodybuilding on a full time basis — competing for the first time in 1991.

Alnwick credits her work in the weight room for contributing to not only her physical well-being, but her mental health, as well.

“My body felt like a well-oiled machine, I felt unstoppable,” said Alnwick. “My body ran better…I felt like I could do anything my mind asked.

“I looked at every magazine in the gym and read the stories and totally identified with the people in them.” she added. “I though to myself I’m gonna do that…build the most symmetrical, muscular, and fit body and compete internationally.”

SPT Alnwick

Former Island hoops star Kassie Alnwick is now a published motivational author.

THE PATH TO MOTIVATION

“I never wanted to just “make it” in anything,” said Alnwick. “I wrote out the life I wanted, what I thought would make me happy and within two months of that my life changed…I left teaching and moved to Florida to take a job as a personal trainer.”

Alnwick quickly learned that the Florida heat wasn’t for her, so she returned to New York, but she wasn’t switching careers again.

“I love reaching into people and turning the gas up on their pilot light,” she explained. “Something changed in [the people I trained] like it did for me…they felt empowered, and I love seeing that.”

Alnwick hung up her bodybuilder posing suit in 1999, and in 2005 she married her husband Pete Alnwick — they have two children together: 14-year-old Joseph, and Jack, 12.

“I was a full time hockey mom with a few clients still,” said Alnwick.

But by 2012 she was back in the gym on a more regular basis, and back in competition.

She competed at the 2012 Masters Nationals, and in 2013 she placed in the top five at the event.

In 2014, Alnwick competed at Team Universe — where she nearly placed dead last.

“You’re just too big,” one judge told the 6-foot-2 Alnwick.

“I was ready to quit,” she admitted.

In 2015, Alnwick was back at it — this time at the Arnold Classic, where the 46-year-old mother of two placed sixth in the world and was the number one competitor from the United States.

“I was 46 competing against women in their 20s,” said Alnwick. “I created what I saw in my mind in 1989 and that’s when I knew I could hang up my posing suit.

“If you want something bad enough you figure out how you can do it,” she added. “You find a way, or make a way.”

SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHOR

Alnwick’s experiences led her to pen her self-published book Borrow My Tribe, which she began writing in late 2018.

“It was arduous, there was self-doubt and fear,” admitted Alnwick. “It was a journey of self discipline, and the ability to see it through.”

Alnwick, who also travels as a motivational speaker, has received rave reviews from consumers.

“There are no words to describe it, the feeling of satisfaction,” said Alnwick. “If you live in a healthy body and out of a healthy bank account your choices in life exponentially increase.”

“People have felt that the book is magical,” she added.

Alnwick acknowledged that fellow Staten Islanders Tamara Gallo and Michele Molinelli also contributed to the book.

“It’s beyond helping people lose weight,” said Alnwick. “It’s about creating powerful personal beliefs and creating their next best version.”

You can purchase Alnwick’s book and contact her via her website kassiealnwick.com — if you choose the “pay it forward” option, a portion of proceeds will go directly to domestic violence groups, including Safe Horizons on Staten Island.

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