Rowan Athletics celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day with local female athletes 

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Junior, Kate Herlihy, meets a young basketball layer who came out for the event. - Contributor / Riley Adams

Every February, National Girls and Women in Sports Day is celebrated to honor the many female athletes, past and present around the world. 

This year, Rowan Athletics, with the help of the women’s basketball team, acknowledged this special day for the eighth consecutive year. 

Local female athletes of all ages were invited to participate in the day full of basketball-based fun and were given the opportunity to meet other athletes who love the game. On Saturday, Feb. 3, the athletic department offered free admission to the next generation of female athletes, to recognize their hard work, along with the women who take the court at Rowan University. 

Upon check-in, those in attendance were also given rally towels to further cheer on the Profs, as they took on NJAC rival, Kean University. 

With her game-leading 20 points, Senior Nicole Mallard put on quite the show for the youngsters who came to support her and her teammates. 

Mallard, who also celebrated her Senior Day on Saturday, expressed her feelings about commemorating both accomplishments in one day. 

“It felt great. I am glad we were able to secure the win for the younger teams that were here watching us,” Mallard explained. “It was just a really nice day. We all [seniors] felt really loved and honored.” 

The Profs’ 74-65 victory over the Cougars made Saturday even more gratifying. During half-time, some of the girls in attendance became the stars of the show.

The girls played a basketball version of the game “musical chairs,” where competitors had to dribble while circling the chairs in the center of the court. 

When the music stopped, each player had to race to either basket and make a lay-up, before running back to secure their spot in the next round. 

The mid-game entertainment allowed the rising female players to show off their skills in front of the crowded Esbjornson Gymnasium. 

Finally, with one chair remaining, a Rancocas Valley High School student was crowned victorious. 

Senior, Savannah Holt, talking to a young event attendee. – Contributor / Riley Adams

As the day continued, those who attended the game headed to the other side of the gymnasium, where they were met with refreshments, treats, and the women’s basketball team. The post-game meet-and-greet allowed the young basketball players to interact with and gain autographs from the women they spent their afternoon cheering for. 

“I think it is very enjoyable because those types of girls look up to us and it means a lot,” Junior Kate Herlihy revealed following her interaction with the attendees. “At one point, we were them, looking up to older basketball players, so we know how much it means to have those experiences, where you get to go watch and meet those players. It is inspiring.” 

Head Coach, Kate Pearson, who is in her first season with the Profs, shared how it felt watching her players interact with the girls who came to support them. 

“Last week we actually had a team come out and it was after a loss. It puts things into perspective to realize that it is bigger than the wins and losses,” Coach Pearson explained. “I think it is great for the young kids to see our team play and enjoy each other.” 

Similar to Saturday’s festivities, the Rowan women’s basketball team often participates in other workshops and post-game events to give back to the youth in Glassboro.

“It is super cool,” Mallard further explained. “I am glad my team and I are able to be that role model for them and have them look up to us.” 

This year’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day theme was “Lead Her Forward,” something that Coach Pearson works hard to enforce toward her players. “One of my goals as a coach is to mentor them and help them learn life lessons through basketball,” she said. It is really important, any opportunities that we have to help them develop.”

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