Basketball Captain Katherine Killian Named News 12 Scholar Athlete

Nora Toscano, Editor-in-Chief

Every year, News 12 Long Island selects 30 of the most talented and dedicated athletes on the island to receive the coveted title of Scholar Athlete. This year, that list of names includes Wantagh’s very own Katherine Killian. 

Killian’s name is one often heard in the Wantagh community. As Valedictorian, shining three-sport athlete, and co-president of National Honor Society, she is  known for her outstanding academics and fearlessness on the court and field. She holds a leadership position in various other Wantagh clubs, including president of Science National Honor Society, co-founder and president of Health Occupations Students of America, treasurer of Science Olympiads, president of Spanish Club, Vice President of the Class of 2023, and treasurer of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. 

Killian shared that to be a Scholar Athlete, it takes “internal drive and determination. You need to have passion for what you are learning/playing. If you face an obstacle, challenge, or setback, it is crucial to keep moving forward while improving past mistakes.”

Killian started playing sports as a child, playing PAL soccer when she was three and continuing with the sport until ninth grade. She started playing basketball in first grade and lacrosse in third. “I joined my first travel lacrosse team in 4th grade, and fell in love with the sport ever since,” she shared. “I started cross country my sophomore year and quickly developed my passion of running.” Years later, she became captain of the Girls’ Varsity Cross Country team, captain of the Girls’ Basketball team , and is entering her final season of Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse. 

“I could not have gotten to this point of success without all my coaches’ support,” Killian divulged. “Constantly receiving encouragement and feedback from my coaches is one of the main reasons I have been successful. My teammates have also made me better as an athlete and a person. We always push each other to our limits which makes us better individually and as a team.”

Killian advises aspiring athletes to “not put too much pressure on yourself. When you let outside influences like parents or coaches stress you out or when you get in your own head always thinking you have to be the best, it is detrimental to your athletic performance and confidence. From experience, the times when I have played my best games or ran my best races was when I was relaxed and was competing out of passion. I was not playing or running to fulfill anyone else’s expectations except myself and my team.” 

“My advice is to just play,” she says. “Train hard and work to your fullest potential, but it is important to know that it is okay to take breaks if the passion you once had for your sports is no longer present.”

Killian will be attending the Rochester Institute of Technology next year, where she will play for their division III women’s lacrosse team and participate in their five year BS/MS Physician Assistant Program. She also plans on earning a Global Health minor.