The PCA Blog - Chicago

Curtis Granderson Lights Up Scholarship Celebration



Few professional athletes live out the PCA ethos of “Better Athletes, Better People” like Curtis Granderson. That’s why the 20 high school student-athletes attending as scholarship finalists at the 7th Annual PCA-Chicago Triple-Impact Competitor® Scholarship Awards Celebration received such a resonant message from the native Chicagoan, Major League Baseball All-Star, 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner, noted philanthropist and member of Positive Coaching Alliance’s National Advisory Board as he accepted PCA-Chicago’s Excellence in Sports Leadership Award.

Interviewed on-stage by PCA’s Jason Sacks before nearly 200 attendees at the Chicago Sports Museum, Granderson addressed not only the importance of community (above), but also the critical role parents play in helping their children develop as athletes and people (below).

Most notably, Granderson put his money where his mouth was, making a surprise announcement of a $15,000 gift from his Grandkids Foundation to match PCA’s scholarships. As to those scholarships, the recipients were:

  • Jacob Carli, Geneva
  • Kaitlyn Coleman, Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep 
  • Grace Rost, Providence Catholic
  • Jason Tajimaroa, Benito Juarez
  • Sarah Whiteside, Trinity

As part of a special scholarship funded by PCA Corporate Partner SureID, Carli received his honor from local legend Rudy Ruettiger, the inspiration for the film "Rudy."

Finalists, who also received a portion of the total scholarship funds available, were: 

  • Ngozi Amadikwu, Jones College Prep
  • Joey Balke, Deerfield
  • Isabel Bettag, St. Francis
  • Nicolet Christensen, Downers Grove North
  • Jacob Claudio, UCSN Garcia
  • Ricky Costello, Providence Catholic
  • Mulbe Dillard IV, Whitney M. Young
  • Carlie Hansen, Northside College Prep
  • Lauren Komrska, Buffalo Grove
  • Rachel Koshy, Maine East
  • Aisat Oladokun, Perspectives Leadership Academy
  • Delaney Oliveira, Loyola Academy
  • Yeilin Salgado, Eric Solorio Academy
  • Michele Sepulveda, Benito Juarez
  • Scott Stern, Deerfield

Additional honorees at the event included Margaret Stender, Owner of Flow Basketball Academy and Chairperson and Minority Owner of the WNBA's Chicago Sky, who received the Triple-Impact Professional Award for professional success stemming from youth sports. In an on-stage interview by PCA-Chicago Executive Director Tai Duncan, Stender reflected on the parallels between sports and business.

Receiving an Honor the Game Award for organizational excellence in youth sports was Vipers Hockey Club, recognized in the video below, produced by PCA’s Keenan Bigg and Joe Terrasi. 

Thanks to all who attended and supported the event! Class of 2018 high school student-athletes may now apply for next year’s scholarships in hopes that we will see them at our next event!

Champion Sponsors


All-Stars Sponsors

Teammates Sponsors


Sweeney Charitable Fund

Greg Shannon


Evan Leturno Scholarship Fund

Jay Dobrutsky

Lee Golub

Richard Duncan Photography

Stay connected