Dear Coaches: I have always been a very fierce competitor and, therefore, thrive on consistently making a tremendous, positive impact on all my athletic teams. I have greatly enjoyed playing both basketball and lacrosse at Fordham Preparatory, along with football in my freshman year. Last year, during my sophomore year of high school, my junior varsity teams, both basketball and lacrosse, won our Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) championship titles. That was a thrilling event. To win two titles in one academic year was absolutely exhilarating. The CHSAA title for basketball was previously only won an antiquated twenty-nine years earlier by my school. During this year I, along with my teammates, learned the true meaning of the old adage "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." Playing for Coach Kevin Piggot, on Varsity this year, was defensively educational. Utilizing the Princeton offense was something that I had previously been unaccustomed to doing on JV. Perfecting this offense required great stamina of both mind and physical prowess. For example, we won against St. John the Baptist as I tipped the ball into the basket as the buzzer sounded. We also had a fair amount of tough losses at the buzzer. One particular loss to Mount St. Michael occurred during a quadruple overtime battle, where I scored a season high of twenty-nine points and had 20 rebounds. We also lost in the playoff game against Cardinal Hayes by two points at the buzzer in overtime. The season was tough mentally, but through it all I learned that I could compete and dominate at the varsity level. Understanding the value of time, practice, and patience, in my choosen sport of basketball, has allowed me the ability to successfully formulate a nice outside jump shot, which greatly adds to my basketball repertoire. I continue to develop my ability to penetrate my opponents, while utilizing both my right and left-handed moves, as I drive to the basket. I am also a very generous passer, for I easily see the court and any advantageous opportunity that arises for my team to score. I also led my team in scoring and rebounding and became a much better passer in the lower post when I was double-teamed. I am constantly working hard at perfecting my game as I am now playing in the Nationals, in Orlando Florida, at the Disney Arena, for my AAU team "Rising Stars" (July 24 - July 31). I have also attended the Five Star Basketball Camp, at Fordham University, in June, where I was recognized for my abilities by making the NBA "All-Star Team." I am also working diligently with a personal trainer for strength and conditioning during these summer months. I look forward to my up and coming senior varsity season, for it should be a very successful one. Our team is very talented and has great potential for a victorious season. Thank you for your consideration, Thomas Whelan.