Jessica De Palo was one of the state’s most dominating low-post presences during her years playing for Red Bank Catholic. She helped anchor one of the area’s greatest seasons in girls basketball history, with the Caseys going 31-0 in 2000. That Casey team remains the last in the Shore Conference to finish a season unbeaten. Jessica was named MVP of the 2000 Tournament of Champions, scoring 15 points and pulling down 17 rebounds in a 57-40 win over Toms River North in the final. She averaged 16.6 ppg and 11 rpg as a senior, after averaging 14.7 ppg and 11.3 rpg as a junior, winning the Shore Conference Tournament title each season. In 2000 and 2001 Jessica captained the Caseys as they won back-to-back State Championships. In both those years she was named First Team All-State by the Star-Ledger, Associated Press, and the Gannett poll, Madison Square Garden Second Team All-Tri-State, and Monmouth County MVP.
Jessica went on to play at Lehigh University, where her 1,466 points still ranks as the sixth all-time record on the Mountain Hawks’ scoring list. In her senior year she was named Patriot League Player of the Year after averaging 18.5 points per game. She was team captain as a junior and senior, and was the team’s Patriot League representative to the NCAA for three years. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in marketing in 2005, and in 2006 earned a Master’s Degree in technology-based elementary education.
Currently, Jessica serves as the Associate Athletics Director for Enrichment Services at Columbia University. She oversees the Columbia Athletics Department’s support services which include student-athlete well-being, academic support, and career development. She will complete her Master’s from Columbia University Teachers College in counseling & clinical psychology with a concentration in spirituality and mind/body practices in the summer of 2017.
Jessica will be inducted into the RBC Athletic Hall of Fame in the ceremony to be held Saturday, June 17th in the RBC Vincent J. Eck Student Center.