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Lisa Rizzo, owner of the Diamond Academy, a center for elite softball and baseball training in Westwood, was a star softball player at Dumont and Ramapo, (Photo by Mitsu Yasukawa)
Posted: Tuesday January 15, 2013, 5:02 PM

In the lobby display case, flanked by a pair of neon-green softballs, is a ring with a red stone.

She was given the ring seven years ago — a lifetime ago — years before Lisa Rizzo set up shop underneath a furniture store in Westwood and opened the Diamond Academy. Prior to fashioning a career out of molding young kids into athletes, the 28-year-old Old Tappan resident was one of those athletes looking for guidance.

As a young girl, Rizzo played baseball — not softball — until she was forced to compete against girls.

"It’s actually really funny," Rizzo said. "If I go back to [my former home town] Dumont now just to visit, or go pick up something to eat there, if I see one of the guys I played against and struck out, they remember that."

To read the rest of Rizzo's story, click here.

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