Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Signing a three-year contract with Taranto of the Italian Women's Professional Basketball League has earned student Kristen Gattuso a distinctive place in Fairmont State sports history.

"Kristen is the first woman basketball player at Fairmont State to sign a pro contract," said Lady Falcons Head Coach Steve McDonald. "We believe she is the first woman player ever to sign a contract from the WVIAC."

Gattuso, a four-year starter and All-American guard, is Fairmont State's all-time leading scorer with 2,041 career points. Noting Gattuso's improvement each season, McDonald said Gattuso's opportunity to play professional basketball shows the value of hard work.

"Kristen has a wonderful work ethic. She possesses a passion for the game and simply refuses to lose," McDonald said. "She has distinguished herself and represented Fairmont State with class and style. She is the consummate player."

Taranto is a coastal town in southern Italy with a population of more than 200,000. After absorbing the culture and the opportunity to play basketball there at the professional level, Gattuso plans to return to Fairmont State to complete 12 credit hours toward a degree in political science.