Bay Ridge

Fontbonne student receives college basketball scholarship

December 13, 2017 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Katie Marquardt and Steven Oliver at the scholarship signing with the Bonnies and (back row, standing) team manager Will Fiore, assistant varsity coach and head junior varsity coach Bob Atanasio, assistant coach Mike Sammon and athletic trainer Alyssa Alaimo (far right). Eagle photos by Arthur De Gaeta

Hoops star Katie Marquardt signs with Molloy College

Fontbonne Hall Academy coach Steven Oliver is beaming with pride these days. Katie Marquardt, one of his star athletes, has received a full athletic scholarship to Long Island’s Molloy College’s NCAA Division 2 basketball program. And what’s extra special is that she is the first athlete from the Bay Ridge all-girls high school to receive such an honor.                     

Athletic grants up to full tuition are given to full-time students based on athletic ability. Recipients must maintain a minimum cumulative index of 2.0, file the required financial aid application annually and continue to participate in basketball.

“I feel very thankful to my coaches, friends and family for helping me get to the point where I am, and I am very grateful for this opportunity. I’m also very happy to start my journey in nursing,” Katie told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Her mother Kathy Marquardt was also thrilled for her daughter.

“We are so proud of her,” Kathy said. “All her hard work has paid off. We’re looking forward to her new journey ahead, but she’s had a great experience thanks to coach Oliver, the other coaches and her teammates who have made this all possible.”

Oliver, co-owner of Chadwick’s Restaurant and Pipin’s Pub in Bay Ridge, has coached the Fontbonne Bonnies for 11 years, two years as junior varsity (JV) coach and nine years as varsity coach.

During the signing ceremony at Fontbonne on Monday, Oliver was delighted to announce that Katie had been accepted into Molloy’s nursing program.

Her brother Charlie also played sports at Molloy. In fact, Charlie, a graduate of Poly Prep Academy, was offered to play professionally overseas and has also had multiple tryouts with the New York Nets.

Katie’s father Charlie has been the head men’s varsity coach at Molloy for the past 22 years.

The story really begins 38 years ago in 1980 when Katie’s father Charlie and Oliver first met while attending Xavier High School in New York. Charlie and Oliver also played basketball at Xavier. Oliver was on the varsity team while Charlie was junior varsity.

So it has come full circle now with Katie. Oliver called her a “true point guard who’s worked so hard to earn this scholarship.” Oliver explained that many schools were interested in Katie on a Division 2 level, as well as Manhattan College, which is a Division 1 program. Division 1 is the highest point of college play for a scholarship; Division 2 is right behind Division 1 and Division 3 has no athletic scholarships, only academic. According to Oliver, many Division 3 schools were also interested in signing Katie, who has maintained a 90-plus average.

Katie earned her right to be a starting point guard on the team. “She’s also my captain this year,” said Oliver. “Her work ethic is on the highest level and each year she has improved through hard work in the off-season. She’s a true pleasure to coach.”

Interestingly, Katie is one of only two four-year point guards to have played on the team since Oliver stated coaching. She followed Kate Oliver, Steven’s daughter, as point guard, a role Steven defines as the “quarterback on the court.”

Oliver recalls that while scouting for high schools, Poly Prep wanted Katie to play for them but he was thrilled when she decided to attend Fontbonne.

“She’s a pure point guard that has worked so hard not only academically within our school, but after years of coaching, she has become the best point guard in our league and deserves this scholarship she is getting to Molloy,” said Oliver.

“She had other offers, but I think this is the right fit for her. She’s going to be missed. On a sad note, this is her senior year but it was truly a pleasure to coach this young lady.”