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2000 American Water Works Hoops WinnersSpecial Event:
Local Scholar-Athlete Honored With Trip To St. Louis For NCAA National Championship Game

Thursday, April 5, 2001

By Karen Bruderle
SJSports Special Correspondent

Thanks to Voorhees-based American Water Works Company, Kate Gagliardi of Manalapan spent this past weekend in St. Louis with her seven fellow Hoops & Heroes scholarship program winners, taking in the women's collegiate championship game and attending an awards ceremony in their honor. Hoops & Heroes is a scholarship program designed to honor high school female basketball players for their academic, athletic and community service achievements. The eight young women were awarded with a trip to St. Louis for themselves and a guardian, as well as a $1,000 educational savings bond.

The awards ceremony, held Saturday, March 31, featured ESPN broadcaster Robin Roberts; newly-appointed coach of the WNBA's Charlotte Sting Anne Donovan; and chair of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee Dr. Maryalyce Jeremiah. These three panelists relayed inspiring stories of how participating in sports at a young age contributed to the success they enjoy today.

Gagliardi, a student at St. John Vianney High School in Holmdel, was chosen as the Northeast Regional Hoops & Heroes winner largely because of her ability to balance athletics with her other responsibilities. She currently maintains a 3.9 GPA and plans to major in physical therapy in college. Eventually, she would like to open a physical therapy practice for injured athletes. Regarding the positive influence that athletic participation has had on her life, Kate says: "Besides my behavior, I have become more disciplined in my school work, learning better time management and knowing that if I can keep my grades up I will be able to go farther in life."

©2001 South Jersey Sports Online