Just before Christmas I came across a story that I wanted to tell but simply ran out of time and while it’s not new it’s the kind of story I enjoy talking about especially with all the negative news surrounding us on a regular basis.

Kelly Milana (NJ.com screen shot)

Scoring 1000 points is one of the those high school basketball milestones certainly worth mentioning and I do so often…as a matter of fact I recognized two players earlier this week for reaching that career highlight.  Monsignor Donovan’s Kelly Milana scored her 1000th point in a game against Barnegat a couple of weeks ago and it’s especially noteworthy when you consider she has been fighting Thyroid Cancer for the past few months.

Milana was diagnosed last summer and despite numerous doctor visits, tests and the knowledge she would eventually need surgery she managed to play volleyball for the Griffins and earn team MVP honors.  Late in November she underwent surgery to remove the thyroid but was back on the court practicing less than two weeks later and in the lineup when Mon Don opened their season on December 14th at powerhouse Point Pleasant Boro.

Milana began the season 40 points shy of 1000 and while she would not get it against the Panthers that evening she got something even better.

In a show of support for an opponent and friend Boro players and coaches wore pink warm-up shirts with the Thyroid Cancer Awareness ribbon on the front and Milana’s name on the back.  Griffin players and coaches wore pink socks and many fans in the stands had pink shirts all to show Milana that wining her personal battle was indeed more noteworthy than simply a game.

Kelly did not have to wait much longer though to reach the milestone as she scored 27 points in her second game of the season and joined the 1000 point club on a free throw late in the 3rd quarter.

She became just the 7th female player in school history to top 1000 points and is also the third member of her family to do so wearing a Griffins blue and white jersey.  Her brother Kyle reached 1000 in 2008 and her uncle Wayne Gantt did so 34 years earlier.

Milana and the Griffins are off to a 5-1 start and visit Pinelands Regional tonight.