By Elizabeth McGriff, Director of Diversity Pipeline Programs
In 2009, while talking to a parent from a public high school at a basketball tournament, BASF member Timothy Halloran, Murphy Pearson Bradley & Feeney, discovered that San Francisco’s Mission High School Girls Varsity Basketball team was without a coach. When Halloran learned there was a perception that Mission High School students did not have the academic ability to maintain the grades necessary to participate on the basketball team, he took exception and set about to create one. However, his goal was not just to create a basketball team, but a basketball program. This meant the development of a comprehensive and holistic program designed to maximize the students’ chances for success on the court, in school and in life.
Determined to see his vision come to fruition, Halloran got buy-in and support from the school’s principal, Eric Guthertz and recruited girls to play on the team, one by one. Halloran didn’t stop there. All of the girls were from diverse backgrounds with limited means. He sourced donations for shoes and uniforms for the players who needed them. Since the team’s inception, players were required to maintain a 2.2 GPA but Halloran and Mission High insist that the players maintained no less than a 3.0 GPA. Halloran also created, in partnership with Mission High School, the Triple Threat Scholarship. The Triple Threat scholarship provides $1,500 to one senior girl and one senior boy each year to help them attend college. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be an athlete, be a good citizen and a scholar.
Owing to his keen understanding of the irreducible needs of his players, Halloran also spends time off of the court helping them with their college applications and invites them to Murphy Pearson Bradley & Feeney for visits. Perhaps most importantly, he works hard to make sure the players learn what it means to be a person of excellence both by example and on the court. In return, he is rewarded with watching the success of the players in high school, college and beyond.
Although his own children are adults, Halloran, who will be in his eighth year of coaching next season, finds coaching the players to be so rewarding that he has no plans to stop helping to improve their lives any time soon.