La Jollan wins basketball fellowship

Meghan Houlihan, a resident of La Jolla, was recently awarded a fellowship from PeacePlayers International (PPI), an international nonprofit organization that uses basketball to unite and educate young people in divided communities. She will be traveling to Northern Ireland for a two-year term of service with PPI, using basketball to bridge divides between Catholic and Protestant young people.

Houlihan joins PeacePlayers International from PGC Asset Management in La Jolla, California. A former basketball player at Yale, she said in a press release that she is most interested in how she can help use basketball to help inspire the young girls of Northern Ireland.

“I really believe that involvement in sport just allows young girls to develop a sense of self-confidence and assertiveness, and that, on a larger scale, can play into the integral role women have in achieving peace in conflict situations.”

A native of Rockville Centre, New York, and the daughter of a New York City physical education teacher and a retired police officer, she says has played basketball for 20 of her 28 years, including in a women’s recreational league in La Jolla. She has coached at venues including: “the Yale Multi-Sports Camp, Yale Basketball Camps, JumpStart Basketball Camp, the La Jolla YMCA and the Monarch School, a school for homeless and at- risk children in San Diego.