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For Carolyn Gallagher, there was always Columbia and everyone else.
“I’m glad that they even considered me,” the Archbishop Molloy senior forward said.
Gallagher declined chances to play for better basketball schools in favor of an Ivy League education, the comfort of remaining in New York City and joining a women’s basketball program she felt connected to. She chose the Lions and Coach Paul Nixon over Colgate, Bucknell and Haverford.
“I wanted the best education that I could possibly get and still be able to play basketball,” she said. “I chose Columbia because that is what I felt was best for me.”
Since the recruiting process began, Gallagher, who lives on the Upper West Side, had her eyes set on the Ivy League or another high academic school. Columbia gave her the best of everything. Molloy Coach Scott Lagas said there were a lot of other mid-major schools like St. Bonaventure with interest, but Gallagher, who has a 98 average, never wavered from Columbia.
“Carolyn is a city kid,” Lagas said. “She likes the city. She is not the type of kid who says I have to go away.”
The 5-foot-10 Gallagher, who plays her travel ball for the NYC Bulldogs, has been one of the city’s most productive and efficient players during her career. She quietly fills up a stat sheet with her mid-range jumper and proficiency at getting to and converting at the free throw line. Gallagher, an underrated rebounder, thrives late in games even on nights where she struggles early on. She helped lead Molloy to the state Federation Class A title as a sophomore and the CHSAA Class AA semifinals last season.
“She is the kind of kid you need to see every day in order to really appreciate her,” Lagas said. “She is the kind of kid that is not going to break anybody’s ankles with a crossover, but she is just going to do everything right.”
With the application process nearly over, Gallagher said she believes it will put added pressure on her to perform on the court knowing college coaches are watching. She is ready to focus on bringing the Stanners their first Class AA state title to complete her career before she leaves for Columbia.
“I want to win [the AA] just once at Molloy,” Gallagher said. “I think we can do it this year.”
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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