June 26, 2012
EASTON, Pa. -
Recently graduated Lafayette basketball student-athletes Sarah McGorry '12 and Jim Mower '12 have each received Victory Scholarships to continue their playing careers as graduate students in Europe.
The Victory Scholarship, sponsored by non-profit organization Sport Changes Lives, is an opportunity to play and coach basketball while participating in a one-year, post-graduate program at an Irish or Northern Irish university. McGorry and Mower will also gain work experience through internship programs mentored by successful businesses in the region.
The duo joins Matt Betley '08 and Paul Cummins '08 - who were also Victory Scholars - and Vanessa Van De Venter '08 and LaKeisha Wright '11 - who each played at Leeds Metropolitan University in England - as recent Lafayette graduates who have earned post-graduate scholarships to play basketball and continue their education in Europe.
McGorry, who received a degree in Economics & Business, will pursue an MBA in Marketing at the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland. The co-captain of the 2011-12 Leopards averaged 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in her senior campaign on College Hill. McGorry wrapped up her four-year career in the all-time top 10 with 115 games played at Lafayette. She is among the first group of women to earn Victory Scholarships as well as the first to participate in the program in Limerick.
"In addition to her work ethic and tenacity on the basketball court and in the classroom, Sarah has also shown a commitment to working in the community. All of the skills and passion that she demonstrated during her captaincy at Lafayette will lead to tremendous success at the University of Limerick," said Head Coach Dianne Nolan, who initially recommended that McGorry apply to be a Victory Scholar.
A 1,000-point scorer in his Lafayette career, Mower earned a Government & Law degree in May and will work toward a Master of Business Studies degree at Ulster University in Jordanstown, Northern Ireland. The former Leopards' sharpshooter averaged 12.8 points per game as a senior, highlighted by a 37-point outburst against Fairleigh Dickinson in which he knocked down 10 three-pointers, a program record and the highest single-game total in Division I last season.
"The huge benefit is that Jim is going to have a chance to earn his Master's degree," said Head Coach Fran O'Hanlon, who spent more than a decade coaching and playing overseas. "He will also benefit culturally, being able to travel and meet new people as well as continue his basketball career."
Both McGorry and Mower thought that their basketball careers had ended, as each was slated to begin working in the business sector when they received notice that they had been named Victory Scholars.
"It was a difficult decision to turn down a job," said McGorry. "But this is a great opportunity to keep playing basketball and to continue my education. The Victory Scholarship Program also provides contacts and resources that will help me find a job next year."
In addition to a continued education and extended careers on the hardwood, the two Leopards will also work in their local communities as coaches and mentors in youth basketball programs.
"I hope to be a positive role model for the children I work with," Mower said. "They may not end up loving basketball as much as I do, but I hope that they learn to value education, gain confidence and build friendships that carry off the court."
"I never thought about coaching as a career, but I look forward to sharing my love of basketball and hopefully making a difference in their lives," added McGorry.