PATERSON, NJ – Brother and sister duo Taniesha and Avante Gilbert will continue their basketball careers when they head to St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkhill, New York. The top-scoring players for their respective squads at John F. Kennedy High School, both were awarded full athletic scholarships to the Division II School.

Offering her confidence that the Gilberts will “carry their Paterson pride onto the courts and into the classrooms of St. Thomas Aquinas,” Paterson Schools Superintendent Eileen F. Shafer said that while seeing them win is a thrill, and seeing them go to college makes Paterson proud, the fact that they are going to the same college “is the icing on the cake that we simply didn’t expect.”

Taniesha Gilbert, who will graduate from Rosa L. Parks School of the Fine and Performing Arts, scored more than 1,000 points in her high school career, while Avante, a senior at International High School, averaged 14 points per game – more than any other player on the Knights boys basketball team. The Knights boys team finished the season winning their 13th title as Passaic County champions, more county titles than any other team.

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“Taniesha and Avante Gilbert have been tremendous assets to their teams, and it’s really great to see them going to the same college program to play basketball,” JFK High School Athletic Director Scott Durham recalled that it was Avante who first caught the eye of Aquinas coaches. It was Avante, Durham suggested, that encouraged the Aquinas girls’ program to take a look at his sister.

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