Jax Ribault High Lady Trojans petition for White House invite


They’re national champions after winning the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals tournament Saturday at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Now, the Jacksonville Ribault High School Lady Trojans basketball team is going for another national honor: a visit to the White House.

Fans of the Lady Trojans clearly believe the winning athletes deserve presidential attention.

They’ve posted a petition on the White House website pointing out that the team “made history by becoming the 2016 National Champions of the Dick’s Sporting Goods National Tournament.”

“Coming into the national tournament as the underdogs was no different for these young ladies than attending school on a regular day or growing up in their neighborhoods. These young ladies displayed poise, class and faith to persevere to a great achievement. For this reason, we’d like the 2016 National Champion Running and Gunning Lady Trojans of Jean Ribault High School in Jacksonville, FL to have the esteemed pleasure of visiting the White House and meeting President Barack Obama and the First Family to show what it looks like when you believe in yourself and make everyone else believe in you, too.”

So far, only 65 signatures on the petition, but underdog status is nothing new for this winning team. The effort needs more than 99,000 by May 4 to reach the goal of 100,000 signatures, which of course merits a White House response. 

Melissa Ross

In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at [email protected]


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