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Pirates Host Summer Reading Program

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - The Seton Hall University Department of Athletics last week hosted the South Orange/Maplewood Summer Reading Program for a campus tour and a meeting with some of the Pirates' former Olympic competitors and coaches.

The summer reading program, Academic Intervention in Reading, Writing and Math, is sponsored by South Mountain Elementary school for rising fourth and fifth-grade students.

The theme of this year's program is the Olympics, so the students met with Seton Hall head women's basketball coach Anne Donovan and Senior Associate Athletics Director Kimberly Keenan-Kirkpatrick to learn firsthand about their experiences in the Olympic Games.

"Coaches Donovan and Keenan-Kirkpatrick brought the Olympics to our students and staff," said South Orange/Maplewood Reading Program coordinator Mary Weber. "They included a slide show and showed the students some of their Olympic memorabilia that was fantastic and educational, providing our students and staff with knowledge and experiences which I know we will never forget."

Donovan won gold medals as a player and coach, winning gold at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games while suiting up for Team USA, and she went on to win two more gold medals, as an assistant coach for the United States women's basketball team in 2004 and as the head coach in 2008. She boasts an impressive 132-10 all-time record on the sidelines for USA Basketball.

Keenan-Kirkpatrick, who was a collegiate track & field standout at Kent State University, was an assistant track and field coach for the United State at the 2005 World Championships and at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Following the presentations from the Pirates' former Olympic coaches, the students also received a tour of Seton Hall's athletic facilities as they were able to see how some of the top athletes in the nation train and prepare for their own competition.