The latest Health Plus/NY1 Scholar Athlete is being compared to legendary basketball star Larry Bird and her teachers say she's a one of a kind classroom star. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
It wouldn't be a stretch to call Kaitlyn Astel one of the best basketball players in Staten Island Tech's history. This season, she set a school record for points, a moment she says she'll never forget.
"I know that this is something that's going to be in the school for a long time, that my name will be remembered for this accomplishment," says Kaitlyn.
"The shooting, the three pointer after three pointer, the getting to the basket, really amazing. I knew she was gonna be good, but she's scored about 1,500/1,600 points that's an unbelievable feat right there," says Peter LaMarca, Kaitlyn's basketball coach.
Walking through the Halls at Tech it's clear everyone respects Astel's accomplishments. During her four years, the Sea Gulls have been nearly unbeatable on Staten Island, winning the last three borough championships while only losing one PSAL game. She's also the team captain.
"I can get everyone really motivated, and if we're down, we need to step it up, you know with my authority on the court, you know people they listen to me," says kaitlyn.
Additionally, Kaitlyn was the captain of the golf team in the fall.
She stands out in the classroom as well. Her A-plus average, multiple advanced placement courses and membership in the National Honor Society are just a few of the examples of how dedicated she is to her studies.
"She's always on task, always on point, always willing to help. She is just really, among all the students I've taught just top of the heap," says Ray Ferrigno, Kaitlyn's physics teacher.
"She's enthusiastic, dynamic, brilliant, smart, sophisticated, appropriately sarcastic and just has a real big personality, a love for life and people. She just has a contagious spirit," says Diane Federico, Kaitlyn's English teacher.
Kaitlyn's coach says she certainly has the talent to play Division I basketball but her choice on where to go to school is being driven by academics.
She wants to major in engineering or architecture.
"I like the challenge of having to figure out problems and having set instructions in how to do something and knowing that there is one answer and if I don't get the answer, I have to try again," says Kaitlyn.
So, for setting records on the basketball court while never losing sight of the importance of academics, Kaitlyn Astel is the latest Health Plus/NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week.