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Scholastic Roundup: The awards keep coming for Gianna Gotti

August 4, 2023 Andy Furman
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Recent Brooklyn College graduate Gianna Gotti has been named an NCAA Woman of the Year nominee. A two-year member of the BC women’s basketball team, Gotti joins four other campus nominees from the City of New York Athletic Conference. Gotti adds the most recent honor to a number of prestigious postseason awards this year including CUNYAC Player of the Year.

Also accomplished off the basketball court, Gotti graduated with a 3.5 GPA as a communications major. In addition, during her collegiate career she has served as member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, an intern in the Department of Athletics, and a youth leader for a nonprofit organization. She has future aspirations of attending law school.

“As women, our most valuable quality lies not in the accolades or awards we personally achieve, but in the way we impact the lives of other women around us,” Gotti said, commenting on the significance of the nomination in a prepared statement. “I can finally say that I am proud of myself. Not because of awards, championships or MVPs, but because in pursuing what I love, I was able to positively impact the lives of other young women around me. At the end of the day, to be able to inspire is the greatest accolade of them all.”

A record-breaking 619 female student-athletes were nominated by NCAA member schools for consideration of the 2023 Woman of the Year award. The average GPA of the nominee pool is 3.76.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

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Pratt Institute student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom, as a department-high 104 Cannoneers were recently announced on the 2022-23 Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference All-Academic Team.

The All-Academic Team honors student-athletes in one or more C2C championship sports that attain a 3.20 GPA for the academic year.

Since their first appearance on the list in the 2020-21 season, Pratt has increased the number of student-athletes recognized in both subsequent academic years.  With 79.4 percent of the student-athlete population receiving the distinction, it is the third straight year that Pratt has produced the highest percentage in the conference to reach the GPA threshold.

Half of the Cannoneers to be honored (52) are repeat honorees with 15 honored for the third time.

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The Pratt Institute men’s and women’s volleyball teams were recently announced by the United States Marine Corps and the American Volleyball Coaches Association to have earned the USMC/AVCA Team Academic Award this season. Initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, the award honors volleyball teams that maintain a year-long grade-point average of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale or 4.1 on a 5.0 scale. The Pratt men’s volleyball team has also received the added distinction of Team Academic Honor Roll, which celebrates programs in the top 20 percent of GPAs for their division.

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Ziggy Brown, head women’s basketball coach at Pratt, was named by the NCAA as one of the coaches for the 2023 NCAA College Basketball Academy. 

She joined 75 other coaches selected by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association for the inaugural women’s academy that took place at the Memphis Sports and Events Center in Memphis, Tennessee earlier this week.

Brown enters her second season at the helm of the Cannoneers.

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The Dick Bavetta mention in last week’s Scholastic Roundup, filled the e-mail bag this week.

From Lenny Hershkovitz, a New Utrecht High School football Hall of Famer: “Joe Bavetta – Dick’s brother – was my football coach in 1965. He coached a sandlot team – the Metro Colts. We were undefeated and played games at Dyker Park. Joe was a detective in the New York Police Department.”

Eddie Birch, Lafayette High’s stellar basketball  team manager in 1969, said: “Tim Hardway – the former Miami Heat star – dubbed him ‘Knick Bavetta’ after his Heat squad lost Game 7 of the 2000 Eastern Conference semifinals and Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals between the Kings and Lakers – a game that Bavetta officiated.”

Bavetta was a Park Slope resident and graduated from Brooklyn’s St. Francis College. In 1992, he became the first NBA official to call a game in the Olympics. He blew the whistle in 27 NBA Finals games and more than 250 playoff games.

His game on April 12, 2013 in Washington was his 2,600th consecutive game as an NBA official. He retired from the ranks of NBA officials following the 2013-14 basketball season.

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And this from Jeff Schrier, former assistant basketball coach at Thomas Jefferson High School: “I first met Dick when he officiated a Jefferson game,” Schrier remembered. “Dick was already bald and I had a scruffy beard and long hair. A ball went out of bounds and I retrieved it and handed it to Dick. He said, ‘Thanks, Serpico,’”. I replied: “No problem, Kojak!” That was the start of a great relationship.”

Schrier said when he coached at Tilden, Dick would stop by, occasionally telling him he lived in the area. “He enjoyed watching my team play. One day when he arrived, I told him we had a scrimmage at Ft. Hamilton High. He told me that he had a Knicks game to do at the Garden that night and asked would I mind if he tagged along to the scrimmage. I told him he was always welcome.”

Little did Schrier know; an NBA rule would change because of that excursion.

“When we arrived at Fort Hamilton,” he said, “Coach Kenny Kern (Fort. Hamilton)  handed me a whistle. I asked him why. He told me that the refs didn’t show up and we’d have to referee the game.

“Before he could answer my question why – Dick said,  ‘Listen, I don’t have to be at the Garden until 7 p.m. I’ll referee for you.’ Dick reffed five quarters of the scrimmage until he had to leave.”

And when Dick got to the Garden, he discussed the scrimmage with his partner and expressed how he enjoyed doing it …. Well …

The next day, Bavetta was summoned to the NBA offices. It seems his partner must have squealed about Dick officiating the Tilden-Fort Hamilton scrimmage. He was asked if he had done so and responded in the affirmative. He was reprimanded and told that for as long as he was working in the NBA, he was forbidden to ref any other games on any level. 

Not only that, but a memorandum was sent to every NBA official apprising them of that stipulation. Around the NBA it became known as the Bavetta Rule.                            

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LIU’s baseball team has earned recognition from the American Baseball Coaches Association for its performance in the classroom.

The Sharks were selected for an ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award. Team that posted a GPA of 3.0 or above for the 2022-23 academic year received the recognition.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR

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