She's the most famous female athlete in the history of the City of Parkersburg.
Yet, in spite of her incredible feats on the basketball court, she is as much remembered for the way she handled life.
Several hundred persons packed their way into the Knights of Columbus on Saturday to share their memories of the former Parkersburg Catholic and University of Tennessee standout, who was taken from us at age 51.
While much of the talk centered around Ostrowski's athletic accomplishments, much also was devoted to her stoic demeanor and her incredible work ethic.
Much has been written during the past week of Ostrowski's legendary 5:30 a.m. workouts at the Catholic gym and how she would call coach Doug Hoselton each morning to make sure he was going to have the gym open for her.
But there is a deeper story behind that scenario. Seems that an opposing coach who Ostrowski's Crusaderettes were due to play had scouted Catholic and told his local newspaper he wasn't that impressed with Ostrowski.
All Ostrowski did that night, recalls former Parkersburg News sports writer Dave Grande, was hit her first 16 shots. And, in typical Mary O fashion, she didn't say anything, rather she let her play do her talking.
In addition to celebrating Ostrowski's life, Saturday's gathering resembled a family reunion featuring not only the members of the Ostrowski family, but also of the Parkersburg Catholic basketball family. While every school in the area takes pride in who it is and in its athletic teams, no other Mid-Ohio Valley school can match the comradery displayed at PCHS.
It was great to see former Catholic coaches, including football and baseball mentor Joe Roedersheimer, basketball and baseball coach John Ellis and girls basketball coach Dick Wildt.
While this is indeed a sad time, it was great that so many people attended to celebrate Mary Ostrowski's life.
Inside the main area of the K of C, the televisions played basketball games in which she had starred.
Meanwhile, the reception hall was filled with memorabilia, as well as television screens displaying newspaper clippings of her many accomplishments, including three-time West Virginia Player of the Year, an award that is now known as the Mary Ostrowski Award; member of the West Virginia State Sports Writers Hall of Fame; and having the annual girls basketball tournament at PC named in her honor.
The girls playing high school basketball in West Virginia today are too young to have had the privilege of watching Ostrowski perform.
Not only could they have learned lessons in how to play the game, but also in how to conduct yourself with grace and class.
It's because of her the game has become much bigger and better than it was back then.
It was great to see many recognize her achievements.
Contact Dave Poe at email@example.com