Madison Gillis, a senior on the Division Avenue High School girls basketball team, made school history during a home game against Roosevelt High School on Jan. 5, as the second student to ever score 1,000 points in her high school basketball career. With only needing 12 points to hit the impressive milestone, Madison, a point guard, scored in the second quarter off a steal for a left handed layup which put her right at 1,000 points. Division Avenue won the game 48-34 and since the win, Madison has continued increasing her point score, reaching 1,019.
"It was a really good moment because this is a big milestone for players and shows their ability throughout their career," she said. "It was something that I've always been looking forward to ever since I started in eighth-grade...not only trying to win the game but also trying to achieve that personal goal."
Noreen Duffy was the first Division Avenue High School student to score 1,000 points during her high school career. Ms. Duffy is now a mathematics teacher at Wisdom Lane Middle School and was Madison's former teacher. She graduated with a total of 1,147 points, one that Madison hopes to surpass as she continues on in the basketball season. She just needs 128 points to reach her goal.
Girls basketball coach Steve Kissane, who has coached the basketball team for 30 years at Division Avenue High School, coached Ms. Duffy and now Madison. He praised Madison as being a valuable member of the team, an asset to the coaches and an all-around great person.
"She is the most determined player that I have ever had," said Kissane. "As good as she is player-wise and as smart as she is, she is also to me one of the most diplomatic people in the world because she balances me, her friends and her parents..she handles it all so well. In all my years of coaching, she is truly one of my top five favorite people to coach and favorite kid to talk to."
Madison discovered her love of basketball at around first-grade, stemming from a family of basketball players. Both her parents played at Division Avenue High School and at the collegiate level. Her sister who is a junior at Division Avenue is on the team and her twin brothers play at Wisdom Lane Middle School. Due to her impressive skills, she was the first student to join the high school team as an eighth-grader from Wisdom Lane Middle School and has continued to play her heart out on the field.
"She is truly a coach on the court," said coach Ray Weidlein.
Looking to the future, Madison is undecided as to where she will attend college but has some offers on the table. She plans to pursue basketball at the collegiate level and study engineering.