July 8, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Recent graduates Christine Ganser, of the College of Holy Cross, and Loyola University Maryland's Nicole Krusen have been awarded Victory Scholarships from the Sports Changes Life Foundation and will study and play basketball in Ireland during the 2014-15 academic year.
The Foundation allows student-athletes to continue their athletic and academic careers by both playing on a collegiate team and studying in a graduate program at an Irish or Northern Irish university. In addition to their academic and athletic endeavors, Ganser and Krusen will be working with youth, particular those that suffer disadvantage, in community programs designed to raise aspirations.
After starting 28 games as a junior, Ganser missed the first 2-1/2 months of the 2013-14 season due to a blood clot but returned to the court to captain the Crusaders into the Patriot League Championship game. The Needham, Mass. native was the 2013-2014 recipient of the Samantha Vellaccio Award which is presented annually to the varsity women's basketball player who best exemplifies the mission of Holy Cross both on and off the court. Ganser will be studying Business at Trinity College in Dublin.
Krusen started 50 games for the Greyhounds in her four-year career and graduated as the program record holder with 157 three-point field goals and also set the single-game mark with seven against Manhattan as a junior. The Rockville, Md. native was named the team's Most Dedicated Player at the 2013-2014 Loyola Athletic Awards Banquet in April. Krusen will be studying Business at the National University of Ireland in Galway.
"The Patriot league has been a special supporter of the Victory Scholarship program as students from Bucknell, Lafayette and Boston University have all had outstanding representatives in the program," said Brendan Wootten, Chairman of the Sport Changes Life US Board. "The Patriot League has been well represented over the years and we are excited to have two outstanding women's basketball student-athletes representing the conference this year. These are exciting times for the foundation and such partnerships make our work much easier and extremely worthwhile."
The Patriot League entered into a partnership with the Sports Changes Life Foundation in December of 2009 to facilitate opportunities for student-athletes to secure a Graduate Development International Scholarship. The partnership enables graduates from Patriot League institutions to apply for graduate school sport scholarships in a University in Ireland.
The Victory Scholarship Program assists deserving American students in obtaining a scholarship package to study at Masters level in Ireland. While studying they also continue playing their sport at all levels and work in the wider community with young people gaining valuable life experiences that will help them develop on a personal and professional level.
Seven former Patriot League student-athletes have participated in the program. Lafayette's Matt Betley (2008-09), Paul Cummins (2009-10), Jim Mower (2012-2013) and Jared Mintz (2013-14) and Bucknell's Darryl Shazier (2011-12) competed in men's basketball, Lafayette's Sarah McGorry (2012-2013) continued her women's basketball career and Bucknell's Ryan Sappington (2012-2013) played men's soccer.
Sports Changes Life offers American companies, academic and sporting organizations and individuals a unique opportunity to get involved in a Graduate Development International Scholarship package. They assist in getting the very best students a scholarship package to study at masters' level in Irish universities. Companies and individuals are invited to invest in these scholarships. These graduates will be the future leaders of companies throughout the United States and will have gained valuable international life experiences which will give them a globalised perspective crucial for transatlantic business development. The Sports Changes Life Foundation is a not-for-profit organization.
The Patriot League continually demonstrates that student-athletes can excel at both academics and athletics without sacrificing its high standards. The Patriot League's athletic success is achieved while its member institutions remain committed to its founding principle of admitting and graduating student-athletes that are academically representative of their class. Participation in athletics at Patriot League institutions is viewed as an important component of a well-rounded education.