Lady Baymen Basketball Star Scores 2,000th Point
Beginning at four years old, she would play basketball for hours and hours with her grandfather using a plastic hoop in her basement. Fast forward 13 years, five-year varsity basketball player Gianna Gotti made history for Oyster Bay High School when she scored her 2,000th point, making her the 36th basketball player and the 25th girls’ player on Long Island to achieve the milestone.
“I knew I was 22 points away, but it came in the first half, which I wasn’t expecting,” Gianna recalled. “So on my jump shot, they called the game and I was like, ‘What’s happening?’ Suddenly Coach Rossen brought out the flowers, everyone was standing up and cheering, my teammates were hugging me. It was really a moment to be proud of. It’s an accomplishment that I’ll never forget.”
Coach Sandy Rossen, who began coaching Gianna when she was 13 years old, called the moment “huge; one that I will likely not see again in my lifetime. She came out on fire; she just kept scoring; I couldn’t keep count…I could feel the emotion swelling up in me. To see her work so hard and to see that happen, it was just raw emotion.”
Coach Rossen recalled the first game she played as a quiet, mild-mannered eighth grader who, at 5’ 5” went up against “towering” seniors at Sewanhaka High School. Unshaken, she scored 20 points.
“They were swarming her,” Coach Rossen said. “It was then, I knew, a star was born. It was unbelievable. From then on it was a meteoric rise.”
Gianna went on to set records; she led the team to the county playoffs where she was MVP, and the team became the top seed in the conference.
A captain of the team since ninth grade, Gianna said, “I just give it 110 percent every time I get on the court. I just go out, play the game and do the best I can for my teammates and my coaches.”
Off the court, Gianna and her teammates participate in various charitable events, one of which is bringing Thanksgiving baskets to one of the poorest section of the Bronx. A leader, she is a role model for younger athletes, taking time to assist them with their skills.
Coach Rossen said, “Everywhere we go, they are
Lady Baymen basketball captain Gianna Gotti is congratulated by Coach Sandy Rossen with a bouquet of flowers for scoring her 2,000th point.
Gianna and Oyster Bay Athletic Director Kevin Trentowski.
in awe of her; everyone wants to see her play. I’m not sure if she understands the magnitude of the impact she has had on others because she’s very humble. But she sets the tempo and makes our games into events, and that’s really hard to do.”
Moving forward, Gianna said she is setting her sights on the county playoffs and ending her high school career on a high note. The team will be the ‘3’ seed in the Class B County Tournament. The semi-finals are Feb. 17 at SUNY Old Westbury.
Scouted by colleges, she hasn’t made a final decision yet and is hoping to find the “right fit.” She plans to become a physical therapist.
As the season concludes, she shared this advice to rising athletes: “Just play with a lot of heart and no matter what people say, just play your game and do your best.”