(ATLANTA – March 5, 2024) – Aidan Goldstein of WISH Academy High School in Los Angeles, CA and Gabby Orlet of Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville, IL, have been named the national winners of the 2024 Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Basketball Courage Award. The Atlanta Tipoff Club (ATOC), administrators of the Naismith Awards for high school and college basketball excellence, selected Goldstein and Orlet for showing exceptional courage, determination, and leadership both on and off the basketball court. The award was created in 2020 and recognizes high school basketball players who consistently go above and beyond throughout the basketball season in the face of adversity.

Watch Orlet’s extraordinary story HERE and Goldstein’s remarkable journey HERE. Both videos feature interviews with the student-athletes, their parents, and coaches.

Goldstein, who has overcome a congenital limb difference, and Orlet, honored for her brave fight against a giant cell tumor, were chosen from a competitive field of 10 national finalists. Their remarkable journeys of resilience and strength stood out among hundreds of inspirational athletes who were originally nominated by coaches, parents, and athletic directors nationwide.

“Aidan and Gabby exemplify the true essence of courage and leadership in the face of adversity,” said Eric Oberman, Atlanta Tipoff Club President. “Their stories are a beacon of inspiration, demonstrating the incredible impact of perseverance and determination.”

Goldstein has shattered barriers with his exceptional dedication and work ethic in basketball at WISH Academy, promoting inclusivity and diversity within his team. Despite his physical challenges, Aidan’s pursuit of excellence and impact on team cohesion has inspired his peers and community. He also has a 4.44 high school GPA and scored in the 99th percentile on his SAT.

Orlet participates in basketball, volleyball, and soccer actively, all while undergoing extensive surgeries and chemotherapy. Her unyielding spirit and determination to play and attend school despite her health challenges have captured the admiration of all who know her story.

In honor of the winners’ achievements, Jersey Mike’s will donate $2,000 to each of their respective high school basketball programs and an additional $2,000 to each winner personally. The winners will be recognized at their high school later this month.

Rich Hope, Chief Marketing Officer at Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc., praised the winners, saying, “We are honored to recognize Aidan and Gabby for their extraordinary courage and contribution to their communities. They embody the spirit of the Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Basketball Courage Award, and we are proud to celebrate their achievements.”

For more information about the winners and their remarkable stories, visit www.astudentabove.com/2024-winners.


Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, the most prestigious national honors in all of college and high school basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the family of Naismith Awards annually recognizes the most outstanding men’s and women’s college and high school basketball players and coaches. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the men’s and women’s college basketball defensive players of the year, as well as lifetime achievement awards to basketball officials and outstanding contributors to the game. UCLA’s Lew Alcindor received the first Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy in 1969, while the late Anne Donovan (Old Dominion) was the inaugural women’s recipient in 1983. Corporate partners of the Naismith Awards include AXIA Time, Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.


Jersey Mike’s Subs, with more than 3,000 locations open and in development, serves authentic fresh sliced/fresh grilled subs on in-store freshly baked bread — the same recipe it started with in 1956. Passion for giving in Jersey Mike’s local communities is reflected in its mission statement “Giving…making a difference in someone’s life.” For more information, please visit jerseymikes.com or follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/jerseymikes), Instagram (instagram.com/jerseymikes), and Twitter (twitter.com/jerseymikes.com).

Media Contact:

Mallory Hadaway, Atlanta Tipoff Club
[email protected]
(256) 682-0599