Former basketball player becomes opera star

Jeanette Vecchione part of Florida Grand Opera's 'Magic Flute' at Adrienne Arsht Center

MIAMI - A former high school basketball players is now the star in the Florida Grand Opera's "Magic Flute" at the Adrienne Arsht Center.

On stage, Jeanette Vecchione brings athletic intensity to her role. The 28-year-old soprano is a rising star in the opera world, and just one listen tells you why. 

"Definitely my goal is to sing all over the world and to make a name for myself in the opera world," Vecchione said.

As a high school player in New York, Vecchione made a name for herself as a deadly three point shooter. She received scholarship offers to major programs throughout the country. 

"I decided that I had to take another elective, so it was either wood shop or chorus," Vecchione said. 

Jeanette's high school music teacher couldn't believe her ears. 

"When she said, 'You are an opera singer, you are going to the Juilliard School.' And I went, 'What,' I knew what Juilliard was," she said.

Vecchione received a full scholarship to the prestigious school. 

It's an unbelievable story that Jeanette told a music class at Hialeah High School with the women's basketball team there, too.

"It's something that all kids can learn from. If you work hard and surround yourself with positive people and you stay focused, you can achieve your goals," Vecchione told the students. 

"I think that just proves that things could change in the blink of an eye. That you don't really have to have a planned course, that things are going to work out how they need to be," said student Patricia De La Torre.

Vecchione then joined the basketball team in the gym. In high heels and long finger nails, she showed she's still got it, sinking two baskets in a row. 

While performing in Miami, Vecchione said she may be ready for some greater competition. 

"It would be awesome to have a three-point competition with LeBron James. That would be really, really cool. I mean, hey, why not?" said Vecchione.

Jeanette said after shooting with LeBron, she'd even sing the National Anthem.

"Magic Flute" opens Saturday. Go to the Florida Grand Opera website for ticket information.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.