Christendom freshman Owen Kennedy, at 6-foot-8, towers over most people on campus. His height, athletic talent, drive, and character power him to success both on and off the basketball court – facts that led him to earning the college’s Thomas S. Vander Woude Athletic Scholarship to attend Christendom this year. Now, Kennedy has another noticeable accomplishment under his belt, as he was named The Daily Star Player of the Year this past week after his all-star caliber performance in his senior year of high school.

Kennedy, who graduated from Cooperstown Central School in Cooperstown, New York, averaged 20.3 points and 17.1 rebounds per game during his senior year. He also posted a double-double (getting double figures in points and rebounds) in 21 of 24 games in his final season. As if that was not enough, Kennedy also broke three single-game school records during his senior year.

Kennedy scoring during a game this past spring (credit: Cooperstown Crier).

First, he passed the previous single-season rebound mark of 330 in February, finishing with 411 rebounds on the season. A single-game record of 33 rebounds in a December game helped bolster that amount. Finally, during a January game in which he recorded a trouble-double, Kennedy set a single-game record with 10 blocks.

This athletic ability caught the attention of Christendom’s athletic department, resulting in his earning the Vander Woude Scholarship. Named for the late athletic director Thomas S. Vander Woude, who sacrificed his life in order to save his son, the scholarship winners are picked based on both their athleticism and their character, especially their drive to develop and show Christ-like leadership and heartless service through sports, in the classroom, and on campus — qualities that Vander Woude himself emphasized and embodied. Kennedy is the latest in a long line of Christendom students to be given this great honor, and is expected to be a positive presence on campus throughout his college career.

Kennedy will bring this level of talent and character to the Christendom court this winter, joining 6’11” sophomore star, and former NCAA division 1 player, Luke Schultz and others as they seek to continue growing and improving Crusader basketball. Kennedy, who also played varsity football during high school, might also join the highly-successful Crusader rugby team, which is coming off a second-straight appearance in the Collegiate Rugby National Championship this past June.

Thomas S. Vander Woude strove to form young men and women on and off the court as Christ-like leaders. Kennedy will strive to continue that tradition, going out to play as a Crusader for “the love of the game and the glory of God.”

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