For Renee Gaudette, Watertown Boys & Girls Club was the start of something special

Renee Gaudette is executive director at the Watertown Boys and Girls Club where she grew up playing basketball.
Renee Gaudette is executive director at the Watertown Boys and Girls Club where she grew up playing basketball.Melissa Epps

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

Marvin Pave can be reached at marvin.pave@rcn.com