GREENSBORO, N.C. – Four Greensboro high school seniors were awarded the Bill Lee Scholarship during the news conference to announce seeding and first-round pairings for the 42nd annual HAECO Invitational, the Greensboro Sports Council announced today. The Council has awarded these $2,000 scholarships during its annual high school basketball tournament since 2001. The 42nd annual HAECO Invitational is set for Dec. 26-28, 2017 at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center.
The Bill Lee Scholarship is awarded to four HAECO Invitational participants each year. All eight participating schools are invited to nominate student athletes; winners are the most-qualified applicants regardless of which school they represent. Including the 2017 winners who are listed alphabetically below, 65 student athletes have won the Bill Lee Scholarship since the program’s inception.
Greensboro Day School’s Mahlon Brady is a two-time captain on the basketball team and a three-time all-conference selection. The honor board and honor code committee member works with the Feed Club, Service without Borders, Backpack Beginnings and the school’s annual blood drive. She volunteers with the National Honor Society, as a Camp Cheerio Counselor in training, an Anytown participant and a coach of the girls’ Bengal Basketball Academy. She also took a week-long trip to work with Greensboro Day’s sister school in Nicaragua. She plans to attend Notre Dame, the University of North Carolina, Boston College, Franklin & Marshall, Tulane or Emory University and plans to pursue a career in the medical field.
Jillian Heard from Page High School is a team captain, was named to the all-conference team and won the Pirate Award last season. She is in the National Honor Society and the English National Honor Society and was nominated for the daughters of the American Revolution and Neese’s Sausage scholarships. She won the Social Studies Award in 2016 and is a three-time winner of the Scholar-Athlete Award. She participates in Young Life, the Anchor Mentor Program, the Interact Club as well as varsity Cross Country and Track & Field. She volunteers at St. Pius Church, Greensboro Urban Ministry and YMCA Camp Weaver. She plans to attend either the University of North Carolina or NC State University and hopes to pursue a career as an Orthopedic Surgeon or a Bio-Medical Engineer.
Grimsley High School senior Rebecca Little is a co-captain who has been named to the all-conference team following each of the last two seasons and was the MVP last year when she won the Blackburn Coach’s Award and was named all-area honorable mention by the Greensboro News & Record. She is a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist and a Morehead Cain School scholarship nominee, a member of the National Honor Society and a Guilford County Service Learning Diploma candidate. She won the Grimsley High School Academic Excellence Award in 2014, ’15, ’16 and ’17 as well as the Grimsley Mathematics Department Award in 2015 and ’16. She volunteers with the Girl Scouts, Upward Basketball, Kindergarten Readiness Camp, the YWCA Women’s Shelter and on First Baptist Church mission trips. She plans to attend Duke University or the University of North Carolina; her career plans are uncertain.
Kassandra(Kassie) Robakiewicz from Northern Guilford High School is a two-time team captain who was named to the all-conference and Greensboro News & Record all-area teams following the last two seasons. Last year, she was named co-MVP, made the HAECO Invitational all-tournament team and received the NCHSAA State Championship Sportsmanship Award. She is in the National Honors Society, the National Art Honors Society and the Beta Club. She was named Mid-State 3A Academic All-Conference in each of the last three years and won the Highest GPA Award following her sophomore and junior years. She volunteers at Camp Carefree, the Little Nighthawk Basketball Camp, Reading Buddies, Triple Lakes Trail Cleanup and Highway Cleanup. She plans to attend either UNC-Wilmington or Clemson University before pursuing a career in either international business or as a sports dietician.
Bill Lee was a Greensboro native and resident who was a major supporter of local sports. The Bill Lee Memorial Scholarship was established by the Greensboro Sports Council following Lee’s death in 2001. Recipients are nominated by the schools participating in the HAECO Invitational each year, and the Greensboro Sports Council awards the scholarships. Each nomination is considered with the following criteria: 40% academic, 40% athletic and 20% civic.
The HAECO Invitational presented by NewBridge Bank is an annual high school basketball tournament in Greensboro, N.C. Founded in 1976 as the Little 4 Invitational, the tournament features men’s and women’s teams representing eight Guilford County high schools playing at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Tournament proceeds are donated to local charities and the participating schools; the HAECO Invitational is planned and implemented by the Greensboro Sports Council. For more information, please visit www.HAECOInvitational.com and follow the event on Twitter: @HAECOinvit.