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Courtney Shaw Named U.S. Army Impact Player Of The Month

February 28, 2018
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Perry Hall High School girls' basketball senior guard Courtney Shaw has been named the U.S. Army Impact Player of the Month for February.

Shaw was nominated for the award by Perry Hall head coach Linda Caccavalla.

"Currently, Courtney takes six AP classes and is on honor roll at Perry Hall," Caccavalla wrote in her nomination. "She is a member of AVID leading workshops for the underclassmen at Perry Hall. She is a four-year athlete in basketball and volleyball as well as a two-year captain."

Shaw was presented with her award in front of a crowd of her teammates, friends and family prior to the Gators' 91-38 victory against Dundalk Feb. 14. Numerous members of the Baltimore Recruiting Battalion attended the celebration, including Maj. John Groefsema, who presented Shaw with her award.

It was a special day for Shaw, as it was also Perry Hall's senior night, but winning an award associated with the U.S. Army was extra sentimental.

"My dad was a Marine, as was my grandfather, so it's pretty cool to win an award that the military is involved with," Shaw said. "My dad used to coach me, and he was a Marine-styled coach. Very disciplined and emphasizing teamwork, which has definitely impacted me as a player."

Those early lessons have helped turn Shaw into a star on the basketball court; she has eclipsed the 1,000-points-scored mark for her high school career.

Shaw's best performance came this season against Lansdowne Jan. 26, when she scored 37 points during Perry Hall's 64-40 victory. Her effort set a new program record for most points scored in a single game.

"We were coming off a frustrating loss, which definitely made our whole team more focused," Shaw said. "From the jump ball, I just took the ball and didn't stop until they were able to stop me. I scored six points in the first minute, so I got off to a hot start and my teammates just kept finding me. When I got close to breaking the record, they kept passing to me, which was great because it made the record a total team effort."

Shaw said working with a group toward a common goal is one of best parts of playing basketball.

"Everyone loves to put the ball in the hoop, and that's definitely exciting, but the team aspect of the sport is amazing," Shaw said. "Getting to know your teammates and creating a family with them is really fulfilling because then when you get on the court, you play for them. It's a lot of fun to play with people you love."

Shaw has also thrived in the classroom, where she currently holds a 3.88 GPA.

"I've always enjoyed athletics, but I'm academically driven," she said. "My parents and older sister set that standard. When I got to high school and took more difficult classes, while balancing it with playing sports, it opened my eyes because I realized my grades would be reflective of how hard I worked, just like with basketball."

Shaw's hard work has paid off. She will play college basketball at Northwestern University on scholarship and plans to study bioengineering in college.

"Bioengineering is interesting because I want to help the human body heal and perform better, but I also want to create things," Shaw said. "I want to make something new and apply it to biological needs. It's a broad field, so I can go in a few different directions with it, which I'm excited to figure out."

Though Shaw has clearly excelled in many areas at Perry Hall, her many triumphs won't be what Caccavalla remembers most. It's Shaw's character that truly makes her stand out.

"In college recruiting they say prospect, project or suspect in regards to a recruited athlete," Caccavalla said. "Courtney is a true prospect, checking off all the boxes that a coach would want in a student-athlete. At the same time, she is a 17-year-old young woman who carries herself with pride, kindness, and intelligence. I'm one lucky coach to be able to work with Courtney."

Watch video of the award presentation:

Photo Credit: Wick Eisenberg/PressBox