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Charlestown High School Restores Banners and Recognizes Highest Scoring Alumni Athletes
On Saturday, June 5, Charlestown High School (CHS) held a banner hanging ceremony to honor the past athletic accomplishments of some of the winningest and highest-scoringCHS alumni athletes in the school’s history.
The momentum leading up to the banner hanging, or rehanging, event began earlier this year with an inquiry to the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Communications team. A local reporter heard about Patty Suprey, thefirst female basketball player in BPS history to score 1,000 points in her career. Earlier this year in February 2021 marked 41 years since the feat was accomplished. Patty was not only a star athlete in an era when women’s sports were not well recognized, she was also a student during the desegregation and integrated busing movements of the 1970s. Patty played on one of the few integrated women’s basketball teams in Boston at the time.
In 2005, Patty’s banner was placed at Charlestown High, commemorating the honor as is customarily done for all 1,000 point scorers, male or female. Due to renovations at the high school, Patty’s banner was removed - along with the banners of every other athlete who shared the honor. Recognizing the strides women have made in athletics since the 1970s, Patty and her family began to inquire about the process entailed to rehang her banner.
“After hearing the interest to rehang Patty’s banner, considering womens' athletic achievements are at an all-time high, we did not have to think twice about restoring the banners of some of the greatest athletes to walk the halls of Charlestown High School,” said CHS Principal, Joel Stembridge. “CHS has a history of superior athleticism, but women especially have not always been recognized for their accomplishments. There was no better time for restoring the banners so that all girls in Charlestown and at Charlestown High would know that it was a female athlete from their town and their school who made citywide history.”
"We are lucky to have the accomplishments of someone like Patty who has paved the way for so many female athletes to strive for excellence in their sport. Charlestown High and Boston Public School athletics seek to have athletes know that they can always accomplish more and reach new milestones in life,” says BPS Athletics Director Paige Lemieux. “Patty is a great example of reaching this milestone and encouraging many women after her to not only strive for 1,000 points on the court but success in life off the court."
Patty and her large family still reside near the Charlestown area and are still very proud of the achievement. Seeing her banner memorialized with the rehanging, after an especially trying year, restored a sense of joy that Patty said she didn't anticipate. It also reinforced her love for the game of basketball and her gratitude towards those who made her milestone possible.
“It is amazing how far women have come in athletics and I am honored to be considered a pioneer. None of this would have been possible without the support of my family, especially my late parents, Mary and Walter Suprey, my teammates, coaches, friends, and the Charlestown community,” said Patty. “Basketball taught me a lot of life lessons, but the most important one, that I want every young athlete aspiring for greatness to remember: never give up and always reach for the stars, like I did!”.