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Athletes sign letters of intent at Cardinal O’Hara

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Gathered after signing letters of intent to play basketball at the colleges of their choice are, from left, Mia McCarthy, Amelia Strong and Aaliyah Parker. Photo courtesy of Cardinal O’Hara High School

TONAWANDA — Three Cardinal O’Hara High School seniors, all members of the girls’ championship basketball team, signed letters of intent at a ceremony on Friday, April 16, in the school gymnasium.

Coaches, parents, the athletic director and school administrators attended, congratulating each of the students who were recruited by their colleges.

Principal Mary Holzerland welcomed the guests and said these students exhibit the principles for which Cardinal O’Hara stands. Coach Nick O’Neil talked about each of the girls.

Aaliyah Parker will attend Niagara University, Mia McCarthy will attend West Alabama University, and Amelia Strong, Long Island University. All three will play on their college’s women’s basketball team.

Parker, who has selected 2021 All-WNY girls’ basketball player, received the Sister Maria Pares Player of the Year Award.

“Aaliyah played for the varsity basketball team each of her four years at O’Hara, producing a Msgr. Martin championship each year. She was team captain for three years and surpassed the 1,000-point milestone in her junior year,” O’Neil said.

Named to All-Western New York three times and All-Catholics four times, she also was named All-New York twice. In addition to basketball, she played soccer and volleyball for two years and is a member of the National Honor Society.

She is the daughter of Bobbie and Henry Humphrey.

Coach O’Neil also praised the work of McCarthy who is a three-time captain of the team, seventh in all-time scoring.

“Mia surpassed the 1,000-point milestone in her junior year. She was named to three All-Catholic Awards, All-WNY the past two years and All-New York State in 2020. She also played volleyball for four years and is an honor roll student,” O’Neil said.

She is the daughter of Michael McCarthy and Keeley LaMonte.

Amelia Strong came to Cardinal O’Hara in her sophomore year joining the varsity team.

“She surpassed the 1,000 point milestone in her senior year, having been captain for two years,” O’Neil said.

Amelia also played on the volleyball and track team for two of her three years at Cardinal O’Hara.

She is the daughter of Lakea Perry and Paul Strong.

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