By ALEX SPONSELLER Cranston Youth Girls Basketball Association established a new memorial scholarship this year in honor of Nancy Duffy, who along with her husband Ken, ran the Cranston GALS Basketball program and was a leading figure in the city's youth
By ALEX SPONSELLER Cranston Youth Girls Basketball Association established a new memorial scholarship this year in honor of Nancy Duffy, who along with her husband Ken, ran the Cranston GALS Basketball program and was a leading figure in the city’s youth basketball scene.
The first-ever recipient was Talia Thibodeau, who recently graduated from Cranston West and will be taking her talents to nearby CCRI whenever the sport resumes.
This new scholarship will be an annual $500 reward for local students that have made a large impact on CYGBA.
Thibodeau has been a key figure in the league since its inception, helping her father PJ who is the league director from the start. Whether it was working concessions, scorekeeping, or working as a coach or official, she dedicated hundreds of hours to the program. She also was the 3 v 3 site coordinator in the summer and was a counselor for five years.
She was also a four-year member of the West team and was the JV and varsity captain during her time with the Lady Falcons and received Academic All-State honors.
“It was pretty exciting to get it because it was a league that I grew up in and I have been in it since it started. So it was kind of cool to go through the league and to get that scholarship and continue on my journey to play college basketball. I have grown up in this league. I really learned and loved the game of basketball in this league,” said Talia, who was excited to receive this award which honors a family she is so close to. “I got a chance to first meet Nancy when she was still with CLCF. My father was friends with them so I knew them. Nancy was the sweetest, she always had water and snacks for those who needed it, she always had a smile on her face. It’s an honor, we know that whole family and they’re all the sweetest and it’s nice to be recognized in memory of her.”
As she gets set to begin the next chapter at CCRI, Talia looks forward to continuing to assist with the league and to begin her college career with the Knights.
“Once everything starts back up there is no doubt in my mind that I will be there every weekend that I get the chance and be a big part of the league whether it is behind the scenes or on the court,” said Talia. “I’ve been talking to the captains and coaches at CCRI. I have been preparing on my own so I am super excited to start playing. Since COVID started I have not had a chance to play with people, so I am itching to get back out there. I’ll be where I need to be for my dad’s league and I’ll be ready to hit the court at CCRI.”