Dellegrotti told the grade school student athletes that she's no natural, either in sports or academics. But though she's only 5'4", she played Division I basketball at the University of Delaware. Team captain for two years, she was selected to the NCAA East Regional Team. But she's most proud of her academic achievements. "My commitment to academics made everything possible," she said, explaining that she learned to prioritize her time. Those days started with 6:30 am workouts to compete with athletes who were faster and taller.
Those days ended with the books. "Being smart is sexy," she insisted.
Before coming to Becahi, Dellegrotti coached at Southern Lehigh for five seasons, leading them to three Colonial League Championships and a 104-28 record.
But instead of claiming that winning is everything, or the only thing, she told sto make udents the most important lesson is learning to fail. "Failure is part of success," she teaches.
Dellegrotti's speech, not the typical fare expected from a coach, was greeted with a standing ovation.
Notre Dame's CYO then went on to make its annual awards. The biggest honor, the 2014 CYO Christian Spirit Award, went to 8th Grader Grant Hershman, a three-sport athlete who has maintained high honors. When it was announced, his grandfather Lou brushed a tear from his eye. He tried to hide it, but is very proud of his grandson, and rightfully so.
|Lou Hersham with his grandson, Christian Spirit Award winner Grant Hershman|
|Lou Hershman with grandson Cole|
On the varsity boys basketball team, there were two winners.
Though he's only in seventh grade, Caden Giordano (pictured right), won every tip-off and was deadly under the boards. He took MIP. Single-handedly, he turned a playoff game around. My grandson, Dat Lambert (pictured left), was awarded MVP. He is a very deceptive point guard whose quick moves on the court has actually caused opposing players run into each other. He's also a thief, good for stealing the ball several times a game.
The person who taught him how to steal? A judge, of course. Judge Emil Giordano, who led another CYO basketball team to an undefeated season, coached Dat when he first started playing basketball, and encouraged these felonies.
Caden has a year to go, but Grant and Dat are on their way to Becahi next year. Grant will be playing baseball and hoops. Dat will play football and basketball.
Many of you more regular readers have watched Dat grow up on this blog. Thanks for putting up with my bragging. The person who has been behind him every step of the way is his mother, Tuyet.
Dat has also been supported by numerous other selfless coaches, from Rodney Robinson to Craig Golden to Chuck Rockmore and Duane Schmoyer.