Cecelie Owens

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Cecelie “Ces” Owens was a standout athlete at South Park High School in Buffalo, playing both basketball and volleyball.

After graduating from South Park in 1980, Owens continued her education at Buffalo State College, and was a star on the hardwood, playing for legendary coach Gail Maloney, a 2010 Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame inductee.

As a Lady Bengal, Owens set 19 records on the court, including most points in a single game (32). In her senior year, she scored in double figures in 25 out of 27 games, and finished her career with 905 points in 77 games. Owens was named to the ECAC Division III Upstate New York All-Star and Kodak All-East basketball teams in 1984.

Following her collegiate playing days at Buff State, Owens began a career in education with the Buffalo Public Schools. She served BPS as a teacher, program coordinator and assistant principal. Cecelie was named the district’s first assistant superintendent of physical education, health and athletics in 2020. Ces is currently the principal at West Hertel Academy #94.

With her keen understanding of the difference that athletics can make in the lives of area youth, in 2007, Owens founded the G.I.R.L.S. Sports Foundation, Inc. to improve the quality of life for young people. The program name G.I.R.L.S. stands for Goals, Integrity, Respect, Leadership and Sports, and it is Cecelie’s vision and a dream to teach girls growing up in her community the values that were so generously given to her. Her work with G.I.R.L.S. Sports Foundation, which includes a mentoring program and summer camps and clinics, helped earn her a Toyota espnW “Everyday Hero” award in 2018.

In 1998, Cecelie Owens became the first female African-American to be inducted into the Buffalo State College Athletic Hall of Fame.