Senior varsity basketball player Christine Vonder Haar is ranked second in the senior class of 456 students.
She has been accepted to the University of Texas at Austin’s computer science honors program. She’s waiting to hear from Stanford University, Rice University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She said ideally she’d like to study in the “heart of Silicon Valley” at Stanford while majoring in computer science.
Vonder Haar was this year’s recipient of the $30,000 Davey O’Brien. Recipients are chosen on the basis of their character, community service, leadership, academics, and varsity sport participation.
Vonder Haar said she is humbled by the experience.
“Being able to win an honor in his name and try to follow up with his legacy has been incredible,” Vonder Haar said.
Vonder Haar, who attended nearby St. Andrew Catholic School, said she choose Paschal for high school “because of the amazing academics.”
“I’ve had a lot of good friends and teachers that have really helped me push me through and my coaches and everyone has helped me balance everything, so I’ve had a really nice support system,” said Vonder Haar.
Vonder Haar said she has learned time management from playing basketball. Although she has a “grilling schedule during the week” she said she does a lot over the weekend.
The biggest lesson Vonder Haar said she learned is that “sometimes you have to work really hard and you don’t always succeed.”
Paschal teacher, John Hamilton nominated Vonder Haar. The process included writing essays, a resume, teacher recommendations and an interview with the selection committee.
Vonder Haar said that although the interview process was “nerve-wracking,” the committee helped her feel more comfortable.
Davey O’Brien was a quarterback for TCU in the 1930s. The Davey O’Brien Foundation was founded in November 1977 shortly before O’Brien died of cancer, according to the foundation’s website.
The Davey O’Brien high school scholarship was started in 1986 and has since provided almost $600,000 in scholarships to high school student athletes in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, according to its website.
In college, Vonder Haar said she plans to continue playing basketball through intramurals and by participating in pick up games.
“I won’t play for the varsity team, but I definitely won’t stop playing basketball,” Vonder Haar said.