Special achievement: Connetquot student-athlete earns inaugural Tim Bassett Leadership Award


Kudos to Connetquot High School senior Morgan Elliott for being among the first-ever recipients of the Tim Bassett Leadership Award from Athletes Helping Athletes.

Morgan — who academically ranks in top 6% in her class and competes on the varsity track and basketball teams — was honored for her unique ability to employ the life skills she has developed through sports and for exhibiting the characteristics of a team player.

Elliott has committed to attend Stony Brook University in fall 2021. She and other Tim Bassett Leadership Award recipients were honored earlier this year during a Zoom event attended by New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz.

Matz, a Suffolk County product who graduated from Ward Melville High School, praised the high schoolers for using their student-athlete platforms for good.

“No matter how big or how small your platform is, you can always pay it forward,” Matz said, noting that punctuality, supportiveness, and accountability are the keys to being a strong leader.

The Tim Bassett Leadership Award is named after the late New York Nets player and longtime member of Athlete Helping Athletes’ training staff. It recognizes high school student-athletes who “display an extraordinary commitment to mentoring younger students, demonstrate a keen understanding of the life skills inherent in sport participation and exhibit the characteristics of the ‘ultimate team player.'”

Photo above: Connetquot High School Principal Michael Moran (far left) and Athletes Helping Athletes advisers Philip Clark (second from left), Alaina Bennett (second from right), and Jeff Tacke (first from right), present senior Morgan Elliott (center) with the first Tim Bassett Leadership Award. (Courtesy of Connetquot Central School District/Joseph Maniaci)