Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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October 3, 2013

Starpoint's Mangani makes tennis a family affair


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Stacey was unconscious because of her low blood sugar and could’ve slipped into a diabetic coma had Gillian not called 911. Because of the call, authorities were able to balance her blood sugar and release her from the hospital that same day.

“It could’ve been worse, absolutely,” Stacey said.

The following week, Gillian was given and honorary badge and certificate of recognition from the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department. Stories were published in local papers and pieces aired on news stations. Gillian and Stacey were featured on AM Buffalo and had an invitation to appear on The Jenny Jones Show, a nationally-syndicated morning show, but passed due to a scheduling conflict.

Nearly 12 years later, that day in 2002 rarely comes up. Gillian Mangani is a junior at Starpoint High School, a scholar-athlete who plays tennis and is a member of the National Honor Society and the school band, where she plays first flute. She also takes vocal lessons and performs in singing recitals.

On the court, Mangani has two losses in three years of singles play. She broke onto the Starpoint varsity team as an eighth-grader, took off her freshman year and rejoined the team for the past two seasons.

Stacey and Jim are both longtime tennis players, and both play matches within the United States Tennis Association. Gillian watched them from a young age, then picked up a racket of her own at 8 years old when she started taking lessons with Chuck Marczak, a tennis instructor and family friend.

“I noticed right away that she had coaching,” said Starpoint tennis coach Jesse Smith. “She had very correct strokes, which is something you don’t normally see from a young girl in eighth grade. It was apparent right away she was going to be one of the varsity players.”

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