NEW CASTLE —
The team performs not only on the court, but in the classroom, with seven regulars being honors students. For instance, Salzano has a 4.2 grade point average. Hooker had straight A’s in the last grading period. Anderson has a 3.7 GPA. The team’s academic success isn’t lost on their head coach.
“I love that young kids can look at these guys and say they want to be just like them. Not just because they’re great basketball players, but the way they represent with how great they do in school. We have a 3.31 overall team GPA, which is pretty amazing,” Blundo said. “Kids want to be like these kids and I can point to my son and my children and I can say, do it the way he does it. Do it the way Jesse does it, Shawn does it, Antonio does it. Do it how they do it.”
Aspirations to succeed off the court extend throughout the team. All players stated their intentions to further their education after high school is over. Anderson plans on attending and playing for Navy next year. Domenick will play for Gannon University in the fall. Salzano wishes to attend school for six years and become a pharmacist.
Rudolph summed up the collective thoughts of the team best stating, “I want to attend college, not only to play sports, but to get my education and become a better person.”
The ’Canes can’t help but to look at their time at New Castle High School and how it has shaped their lives.
“New Castle basketball to me is every time you put that jersey on, you know you’re going to go out and fight with your brothers,” Domenick said. “It’s formed me as a person and made me become such a better player and person. I thank my coaches and teammates for everything they’ve done for me.” “To me it means two things, together and toughness,” starting junior guard Anthony Richards said. “Wherever you go, you’re so proud to say you go to New Castle.”
Added Salzano, “New Castle basketball is a sense of pride. The memories we’ve made and the accomplishments we’ve had over these three years have been amazing. I’ll always remember and I’ll always be a Hurricane.”
(Don't forget — our full-color New Castle basketball player posters begin appearing in TODAY's edition! Get one!)