Lessons to live by
The morning of Aug. 27 — the day before Andover High’s first day of classes for the new school year — Rachael Cormier signed up for a gym membership to get ready for the basketball season. She came home, talked with her dad briefly about enrolling at the gym and then she went to finish some last-minute summer assignments.
“And then I walked through his room to go to the kitchen,” Rachael said. “I saw him on the couch. It looked like he was sleeping almost. He was still in his towel from getting out of the shower. And he didn’t move when I came in the room, which was weird.”
Rachael called out to her father, but he didn’t respond. She shook him, but he remained unresponsive. She reached for her cellphone.
“While calling 911, I ran upstairs to my brother, Trevor, who was in his room sleeping,” Cormier said. “I was frantic. I was like, ‘You need to come downstairs. Something’s wrong with dad.’
“My brother’s trying to give him CPR and it’s not working. And then the ambulance finally gets there. My brother runs outside to direct them and I had to try to give my dad CPR myself.”
It’s not surprising that some of Rachael’s love for basketball died along with her dad that day.
Rachael took ballet as a girl before quitting dance around the third grade. Her dad then encouraged her to try other sports and activities.
“I naturally latched onto basketball,” she said. “He started off (teaching) the basics. As a third-grader, you don’t know if you’re going to stick with basketball for this long, but I think I’m naturally an aggressive person. So basketball was a nice fit.”
Warren Cormier became quite involved in his daughter’s basketball career. The Cormiers lived in Wilmington until Rachael’s seventh-grade year and Warren Cormier coached his daughter’s fifth- and sixth-grade teams as well as her in AAU basketball.