Name: Gabrielle Cajou
School: North Rockland High School
Sport: Girls basketball
Athletic accomplishments: Her team’s starting point guard, Cajou led North Rockland to the No. 2 seed of the Section 1, Class AA tournament this season. On Jan. 6, she scored a career-high 29 points against Harrison. An All-League, All-County and All-Section last season, Cajou is committed to Manhattan College on a full scholarship.
Academic accomplishments: Cajou has a GPA of 90. She has been on the honor roll throughout high school. She has also taken pre-calculus, english and physics courses at Rockland Community College, economic and government courses at Syracuse University and an accounting course at Farmingdale College.
School and community involvement: Cajou has volunteered at Heroes and Cool Kids, Best Buddies, Youth for Hospice and Youth for Cancer. She also has worked and volunteered at basketball clinics, helps the homeless at her local church and volunteers time to read to kids at the Rose Memorial Library at Stony Point.
Getting to know Gabrielle Cajou
The Journal News: You helped lead your team to the second seed in the Class AA sectional tournament. How do you feel the regular season went?
Gabrielle Cajou: I think we did really well. I feel like we pushed each other each game and I feel that we got better and better in practices. A lot of kids stepped up on our team and that helped us a great deal.
TJN: The team opens up sectional play against Yorktown on Wednesday. What are you looking to out of that?
GC: I’m looking to push the ball a lot to get our opportunities to score. If we take advantage, we can show teams not to mess around with us, and that we’re here to stay.
TJN: The biggest obstacle between you and a Gold Ball is Ossining. The chance to play them, has that crossed your mind?
GC: Yes, definitely. We definitely have a shot of winning the whole thing.
TJN: What would be the key to beat them, if you played them?
GC: Pushing the ball and shooting. They can’t stay with us and as we get better at shooting, they won’t be able to compete.
TJN: Is it tough to balance school work, especially taking college-level courses, alongside basketball?
GC: It involves a lot more work, but I push myself everyday and I’m dedicated to doing the extra work to continue to get good grades. It gets difficult sometimes, but I push through and do what I have to do.
TJN: You volunteered over the summer at a library reading to kids. What was that like?
GC: It was very fun watching their faces light up as the pictures popped up. Watching them listen to me as I read the words, it warmed my heart greatly. Just watching how it impacted their lives, making them want to read more, it showed me that as a person, I can influence kids to do better.
TJN: Take me through the recruiting process, and how it came down to Manhattan.
GC: We had a couple of tournaments and Manhattan reached out, my coach said they were interested. I went to visit, they wanted a highlight video, and I gave it to them. A couple days later, they offered. I took a few days to think about it, and I felt like it was the right choice for me.
TJN: What do you plan to study when you get there?
GC: Accounting. I like math, and I like helping people. I like to put two and two together, I’m that kind of person, and I feel accounting is best for me.
The Journal News Rockland Scholar-Athlete of the Week program honors students for their academic, athletic and community achievements. Each week a winner is selected from nominees submitted by athletic directors. Only seniors can be nominated, and the award can be won only once. Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. Monday. The presenting sponsor for The Journal News Rockland Scholar-Athlete program is Gary Goldberg Financial Services.