April 2020 North Park University
North Park junior women's basketball student-athlete Sinead Molloy has been named the first recipient of the Chris Martin Perseverance Award. The award is named after former CCIW Commissioner Chris Martin, who served in this rolE from 2002 to 2019. The CCIW Council of Presidents established the award in April 2019 to be presented annually to a student-athlete who demonstrates an unwavering commitment and perseverance to overcome a physical challenge in order to compete at the highest levels of CCIW athletics. The award honours Martin's legacy of perseverance enduring the challenges of a lifelong hearing disability and a highly accomplished tenure leading the CCIW through a period of growth and success. The CCIW's Senior Woman Administrators chose Molloy as the inaugural recipient following a review of five total candidates.
At seven years old, Molloy was diagnosed with Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct (EVA) Syndrome, which rendered her completely deaf. She was born hard of hearing in her left ear, but a fall at seven years old triggered the EVA Syndrome diagnosis. Nearly a month later, she underwent surgery for a cochlear implant in her right ear, but it took another month to be able to hear using the implant. With the implant, Molloy is only able to hear 50 percent of what someone normally hears, but despite this physical challenge, she has thrived as a member of the Vikings' women's basketball team, while also majoring in Nursing at North Park.
The Chicago native began her collegiate career in 2017-18, playing in seven games that season with seven starts. The following year, she started 26 of 27 games and averaged 6.1 points per game and led the Vikings with 52 assists. North Park qualified for the CCIW Women's Basketball Tournament during her sophomore year, the Vikings' first appearance since 2006. Molloy started every game for the Vikings this past season as she again led the team in assists with 56. North Park finished 17-9 and earned a berth in the CCIW Women's Basketball Tournament as the No. 3 seed.