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Jessica C. Gelman | High School Player | Inducted 2008

Jessica Gelman is an over-achiever! Her basketball career began when she tried out for her sixth grade basketball team and fell in love with the sport. Years later, during a three year career at Staples High School (Westport, CT), she compiled an “All-American” resume.

Jessica attended Staples High School for only three years. However, she graduated with school records in total points (1,637), steals (385), and 3-point goals made (102). She holds the single season record for three pointers (53), most points in a game (45), and during her sophomore season [1990-91], she led the team in points scored, rebounds, assists, and steals. Gelman scored 1,910 points (1,637 at Staples) during her high school career.

Jessica captained her Staples team for two years. She was a three-time All-State, All-Conference player and a two-time FCIAC Tournament MVP. In 1993, she was honored as the Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year and as a Converse All-American. She was also a two-time Street and Smith All-American.

Gelman continued her basketball career at Harvard where she played point guard from 1993-1997. She played for the Crimson during back to back Ivy League title seasons and Harvard’s first two NCAA tournament appearances. She co-captained the first team to go undefeated in the Ivy League.

Jessica is the only Harvard player to score more than 1,000 career points (1,045) and hand out more than 475 assists (485). She averaged 9.9 points per game and made 198 steals. She graduated as the all-time assist leader and ranked second in steals. She still ranks in the Top Ten in school history for points, assists, steals, and field goals made in a career.

Gelman was named to the All-Ivy First Team in 1997, was Academic All-Ivy, and was selected Harvard Female Athlete of the Year. After graduation, she played professionally in the Euro League for Ramat Hasharon in Israel.

Jessica has always loved every aspect of the game – the strategy, the teamwork, the practice, the skills needed, the memories on and off the court. She believes that her passion for the game led her on an amazing journey of personal growth and education. She learned the nuances of leadership, the importance of understanding strengths and weaknesses in herself and her teammates, how to win and how to lose, and how to set goals and achieve them, and how to overcome adversity. She found lifelong friends with a similar passion, made history and traveled the world because she fell in love with a sport and dedicated herself to becoming the best player and leader she could be.