Emily Ostermann is clearly an extraordinary young lady and has achieved quite a bit during her high school career at Donovan Catholic.

A senior from Toms River her academic achievements and student involvement are noteworthy and that was before she was notified this week that she received a perfect score on the Advance Placement Chemistry Exam she took last May.  How rare is that?

Emily is one of just three students in the world to earn every point possible on this difficult assessment and it should no doubt impress her three top college choices: Cornell, Princeton and Stevens Institute of Technology.  The daughter of Stephen and Lisa Ostermann, Emily would like to major in electrical engineering so she can work on agriculture technology.  I like her chances to succeed.

While on the subject of high school students doing good things you might know that the basketball season is at its most important time of year: tournament time.  However the season has ended for a special group of 23 children who participated in the Toms River Basketball Association’s Challenger Division Clinic and spent five Sundays in January and February at the Silver Bay Elementary School working on their basketball skills.  Just as important was the bonding they shared with a special group of high school players from the Donovan Catholic boys and Toms River North girls teams.

Coaches Mike Kearney and Vicki Gillen once again had players from their teams volunteer to not only work with these special education children on a weekly basis but get to know them as well.  While they learned to shoot, dribble and pass there was plenty of time for storytelling, tag and other games, even hair braiding from time to time.  It all added up to quality time with both the high school players and the children benefitting from the experience.

In its 12th year and under the direction of Victor Suskevich and Melissa Sorano the Challenger Division Clinic is an important part of the TRBA and a collaborative effort that includes the children, parents and the volunteer student-athletes.  Having those Griffins and Mariners along with Coach Kearney and Coach Gillen adds a special element and results in plenty of smiles for all.

For more information on the TRBA visit tomsriverbasketball.com