The Hall of Fame Board of Directors has selected Archbishop Mitty basketball star Aaron Gordon and 2012 Table Tennis Olympian Ariel Hsing from Valley Christian High School as its 2012 Male and Female High School Athletes of the Year. It selected Stanford University Heisman trophy candidate Andrew Luck and 2012 Bronze Medalist Marti Malloy from San Jose State University as 2012 Male and Female Amateur Athletes of the Year. Heather McFarland from Los Gatos was named as the Special Olympics Athlete of the Year.
Ariel Hsing, Valley Christian High School
Ariel Hsing is not your typical high school senior. Entering her final year at Valley Christian, the Fremont-born Olympian counts Warren Buffet and Bill Gates among her personal acquaintances, and shocked the world of table tennis with her incredible performance at the London Olympics when she nearly defeated eventual gold medalist Li Xiaoxia (China).
She became the youngest U.S. table tennis national champion in 2010 when she was only 15 years old, and the followed that with a second U.S. championship in 2011. She helped the U.S. win bronze at the 2011 Pan American Games, and in 2012, Hsing won singles championships at both the ITTF North American Cup and U.S. Junior and Cadet Open tournaments.
However despite such lofty accomplishments at such a young age, Hsing remains committed to balancing her academics and her sport. She has a pact with her parents, that any deviation from straight A’s at school means time-off from table tennis.
"If I didn't have straight A's, I wouldn't play table tennis. My parents told me I couldn't play table tennis if I didn't get straight A's," Hsing told USA Today during the London Games. "My teachers at Valley Christian High School, they've just been so supportive of me. A lot of times I'm going on trips for two to three weeks at a time," she said. "So I just turn in my homework to them beforehand. … I do makeup tests. They have to take time out of their busy schedules to help me."
And she returned the favor as she made all of us in the South Bay – and across the country - very proud.
The San Jose Sports Authority is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the City of San Jose’s economic development, visibility, and civic pride through sports. Serving as the City's sports commission since its inception in 1991, the Sports Authority has provided leadership and support to attract and host hundreds of sporting events in San Jose and the South Bay. The Sports Authority also supports and operates community, youth and amateur sports programs, including the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame, The First Tee of Silicon Valley, and the REACH Youth Scholarship Program. To learn more, visit www.sjsa.org.