Renee Gaudette enrolled in a Biddy Basketball program at the Watertown Boys & Girls Club at age 7 – a prelude of things to come.
“It was the place where I grew up and spent every day after school,’’ said Gaudette, who has served as the club’s executive director since 2013.
“The relationships formed here made me the person I am today.’’
A four-year starter in the backcourt for the Watertown girls’ basketball team, Gaudette helped spark the Raiders to a 15-point upset of top-seeded Newburyport in the 1999 Division 3 North tournament her senior year.
Although the Raiders subsequently bowed out to Weston, 54-50, Watertown had fashioned a six-game win streak just to qualify for the tourney.
“We had never made the tournament and our seniors made a commitment down the stretch,’’ said Gaudette, 38, an inductee into the Watertown High Athletic Hall of Fame.
“The Newburyport game was the greatest upset I’ve been a part of.’’
Although injuries limited her playing time at Iona College, the 5-foot-3-inch Gaudette received the Coaches Award for leadership and dedication. She graduated in 2003 with a degree in psychology.
Once a standout with the victorious Metro squad at the Bay State Games, Gaudette had previously worked at the West Suburban YMCA. Her father, Bob, was a tennis player and swimmer at Waltham High and a high school basketball referee.
She remains close to her club and high school basketball coach, and mentor, Joanie Kelly, and is proud of the club’s new teen center, part of a $1.5 million renovation completed last year.
“I’m humbled and thankful, to give back to an organization that gave so much to me,” she said.
Marvin Pave can be reached at email@example.com