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Academy of Notre Dame’s Katie Halligan is Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week (Jan. 30-Feb. 5)

The 5-foot-10 senior forward and second-year captain, a second team All-Main Line basketball selection last winter, has collected more than 500 rebounds in her Academy of Notre Dame career. Academy of Notre Dame basketball head coach Lauren Power said, “Obviously, reaching 500 rebounds is special, but when you factor in the 20-plus games cancelled in her career due to COVID, that’s simply remarkable. All of our success over the past four years, Katie has been an integral part of it.  She has started for four years, a two-time team captain. What makes her invaluable is her leadership and the intangibles she brings every single day to the Irish program. She’s relentless. We like to joke that she might as well be on our coaching staff, because her maturity level and mentorship over our younger players has been incredible for us to watch. She’s a coach on the floor, and she’s a mentor in the locker room. It’s hard for me to put into words, but she’s the glue to our success.” Off the court at Academy of Notre Dame, Halligan participates in Student Council, Mathletes, Student Ambassadors, the school yearbook, Honor Corps and Classics Club.


Q: What do you think are the biggest keys to effective rebounding?


A: To me, the key to effective rebounding is getting a body on your girl and going to the ball. Playing the forward and sometimes center, I have never been the tallest player on the floor, so using my body positioning to get the rebounds over bigger girls has always been important in my game. Rebounding takes more heart than skill, and going toward the ball has helped me be successful. Former 76ers announcer Marc Zumoff used to say that rebounding was like “turning garbage into gold.” It is one of the ways I have been able to contribute to my team’s success.


Q: As a second-year captain, how do you view your leadership role on and off the court?


A: Last year, I was much more of a leader by example through my play and body language. This year, I have taken on a much more vocal leadership role in helping my teammates. Whether it’s helping generate the offense or helping younger teammates grow, I try to help everyone get better every day. I have been fortunate to be a starter for all four of my years here at Notre Dame, and this season, we have a very young team. I try to use what I have learned to help my teammates. Off the court, I love to get the team together, whether it’s going to dinner after a game or having team outings that help to create bonds that will help our chemistry to grow on the court.


Q: You tore your meniscus last summer, which cut short your season with the AAU Lady Runnin’ Rebels last year. What was the greatest challenge you faced in your rehab, and how did you meet that challenge?


A: The biggest challenge I faced during my rehab was adapting to a new role on my team during the off season. I wasn’t sure what my season would look like since I was injured, and I was lucky enough to rehab in time to come back for the start of the season. I met the challenge by doing what I was familiar with and didn’t change, which was being a leader and creating a fun environment for our players to be a part of.


Q: Tell us a little about your start in basketball. Have you always been a forward? Who have been your top basketball mentors, and what was the most important thing you learned from each of them?


A: I have been playing basketball since first grade in the Malvern League. I was always one of the tallest on my team, so I grew up playing forward. Basketball has always been a big part of my family. My parents both played basketball for the University of Scranton and have been very influential in coaching me and growing my love for the game. My Pop Pop and Uncle Michael played for St. Joe’s and would work with me in the gym on my shooting and footwork. My father’s father coached high school basketball in Jersey City, N.J., for 28 years. I love when my family comes to our games. I am lucky to get their advice here and there, but most of all, they have always encouraged me to have fun on the court and give it my all every time out.



Q: Who is your favorite basketball player and why?


A: My favorite basketball player is Maddy Siegrist at Villanova. I had the opportunity to play with her at one of my AAU practices and really admired her leadership and the great energy she brought to the workout. I love how versatile her game is, and I think she has been so much fun to watch this season.


Q: What has been your favorite experience to date with the Academy of Notre Dame basketball team?


A: One of my favorite experiences with the NDA basketball team was when we beat Sidwell Friends during my freshman year. We traveled down to Washington, D.C., and the entire trip was a really fun team bonding experience for me to go away with my teammates and beat a top team. Sidwell Friends had the No. 1 player in the class of 2022, Kiki Rice, who now plays at UCLA. It was a huge win, everyone contributed, and we played with great energy. I think that win characterized our team and set us up for future success later that season. I have been fortunate to play with many great players over the past four years at Notre Dame, including Maeve McErlane, Allie Lynch, Izzy Casale, Mikayla and Julia Dever, and Annie Greek, just to name a few.


Q: You wear uniform jersey No. 25 for the Academy of Notre Dame basketball team – is there a reason you chose that number?


A: I wear No. 25 because my birthday is January 25, so it has always been my lucky number since I was little.


Q: What is your favorite academic course at the Academy of Notre Dame? What do you think you might like to major in when you go to college?


A: I love math, particularly this year. I am taking AP Calc BC. I plan to major in business in college.


Fun facts – Katie Halligan

Favorite TV show: One Tree Hill.

Favorite movie: Life as We Know It.

Favorite pre-game pump-up song: Stir Fry by Migos.

Favorite team: Philadelphia 76ers.

Favorite place to visit: Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Favorite pre-game meal: Gogo squeeze apple sauce.

Person I most admire, and why: “My parents for their hard work and the love that they show me every day.”

Family members: parents Mark and Lynne, sister Lizzie and dog Lucky.


(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)

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