The Michael Kelleher Scholar–Athlete Award is a significant honor created by the Gonzaga DC Classic Tournament. The award is named in honor of the founder of the Tournament, Michael Kelleher. Mike died suddenly on November 22, 1996 but his legacy has continued to inspire the Tournament. The Scholar-Athlete Award is given to the Gonzaga senior who participates in athletics and exemplifies Gonzaga’s goals of superior academic achievement combined with community service. Mike had a vision to create a basketball tournament which would bring high school teams to Washington DC to participate in competitive games and to enjoy the unique environment and history of our Nation’s Capital through such activities as tours of the White House, the Capitol and visits to historical monuments. It was Mike’s dream that this Tournament would also generate good will among the players and coaches from different parts of our country and create lasting memories for them. Our Annual Team Breakfast helps to do such. The Tournament Committee will always remember Mike for his contribution to the Tournament and for his dedication to Gonzaga.
This year the Scholar-Athlete Award will be presented to Gonzaga Senior Peter Sikorsky. Peter has been a member of the Varsity Cross Country and Track teams; he carries a 4.12 grade point average taking AP classes and has participated in numerous Gonzaga Service Projects such as McKenna’s Wagon, Food and Friends, and the Apopka Immersion Program in Florida over spring break. He has also been referred to as the “backbone” of the Gonzaga Campus Kitchen service, not only working in it during the school year but also during the summer months. Peter has described himself as follows:
I truly take to heart the values and characteristics of a Gonzaga Man; with that in mind, I recognize that I am being acknowledged as a student-athlete who also deems service as an integral part of his being. From an academic perspective, I have sought to maintain a high GPA, while challenging myself by taking difficult courses. In addition to being a student, though, I am also a runner – participating in both Cross Country and Track during my time at Gonzaga (my PR for a 5K is 16:55). Most importantly, however, a Gonzaga man, in my opinion, promotes and seeks justice while acting with great love (I hope this is the quality I embody the most). I truly am grateful that I attend a school with such a commitment to social justice that provides opportunities to lobby, attend teach-ins, and care for our neighbors.