John Habib's City Sports: A couple of Pioneers are on the move
Two athletes from Trinity High of Manchester — one former, one current — are advancing their respective sports careers.
Chris Brickley, with weighty endorsements from Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino and the New York Knicks brother tandem of guards Chris and J.R. Smith, on Tuesday landed a job as an entry-level trainer with the Knicks.
Coincidentally, the Knicks are in town to play the Celtics in an exhibition game tonight at Verizon Wireless Arena. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, Trinity senior Carmen Giampetruzzi Jr. is set to sign with Boston College on National Letter of Intent Day, Nov. 2. Like Brickley before him, Giampetruzzi has been a standout basketball player for the Pioneers — as well as the starting quarterback for their highly successful football team — but his letter of intent will be for baseball.
- - - - - - -
BRICKLEY, who scored 1,578 career points at Trinity and led the state in scoring his senior season (28.7 points per game), started his collegiate career at Northeastern University in 2005. He transferred to NCAA Division II Southern New Hampshire University and played a full season in 2006-07 and seven games during the 2007 fall semester, then moved on to Louiville, where he joined Pitino and the Cardinals in January 2008 as a walk-on. After a redshirt season, he concluded his playing career in 2009-10.
At Louisville, Brickley was a teammate of Chris Smith, who introduced him to J.R. It was J.R. Smith who originally recommended Brickley to the Knicks this past summer, when Brickley was between jobs with the basketball staffs of Fairleigh Dickinson and Pace Universities, but it was a call from Pitino to New York general manager Allan Houston that secured the Granite Stater his first NBA job.
“You knew Chris Brickley wanted to be a coach,” Pitino told the website Bleacher Report. “He was a basketball junkie and wanted to learn the game. If you believe in someone, I knew he could do a really good job. I’m not one that makes phone calls and recommends people that I don’t think would impact the franchise.”
Chris Bernard, the Knicks’ vice president of player development, offered Brickley the job, according to Bleacher Report. Brickley told the website he will be included in workouts, practices and some game-day preparation.
“I am excited about the opportunity to work for such an outstanding organization,” he told the website. “I will work tirelessly to do my part in helping the Knicks have a successful season.”
- - - - -- -
A COUPLE of decades before Giampetruzzi first began making a name for himself as a a multi-sport athlete, the name Carmen Giampetruzzi was associated with New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University) basketball.
From 1982-86, Carmen Sr. totaled 1,928 career points for the Penmen — all before the advent of the 3-point shot in college ball. As a sophomore, he led all New England Division II players in scoring, averaging 21.1 points a game. As a senior, he led NHC to a 24-7 record and a berth in the NCAA tournament.
His performance in the classroom, however, didn’t quite match his exploits on the court.
“I have nothing but great memories playing at New Hampshire College, but I made many mistakes along the way — mistakes I didn’t want my son to make,” the senior Giampetruzzi said. “There’s a saying a good person learns from his mistakes and a great person learns from others.”
The advice Giampetruzzi gave to his son was to hit the books and be involved in extracurricular activities.
“I’m proud to say my son took my advice to heart. He’s carrying a 4.30 GPA, has joined school clubs and plays three sports at a high level,” Carmen Sr. said.
That three-sport versatility made an impression on BC coach Mike Gambino, Giampetruzzi said.
Now a BC coach in another sport — Ryan Day, the former Manchester High Central and University of New Hampshire quarterback who now serves as offensive coordinator for the BC football team — has invited the Giampetruzzi family and friends to the Heights for a letter-of-intent signing ceremony on Nov. 2, which also happens to be the date Day and the Eagles host Virginia Tech.
Carmen Jr. plans to major in biology at Boston College, his father said, but first there’s some unfinished business to complete with the Pioneers.
“He’s won a state football and basketball title, and he’d love to leave Trinity with a baseball title,” Carmen Sr. said of his son. “He wants to play at the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium and win the title there next spring. He wants that more than anything right now.”
- - - - - -
FRIENDS and family of the late Mike Flanagan are behind a memorial scholarship and Facebook page honoring the Manchester Memorial High graduate who went on to become the ace pitcher and later general manager of the Baltimore Orioles.
Ted Menswar Jr., who coached Flanagan at Memorial, now is getting the word out about the Mike Flanagan Scholarship Fund. Beginning next spring, the first two scholarships will be awarded to two Memorial student athletes.
One will be presented to a graduating member of the varsity baseball team who best exemplifies the work ethic Flanagan demonstrated throughout his amateur and professional careers. The other will go to a graduating student who will pursue a career in the field of mental health and suicide prevention. Information on how to contribute and apply can be found on the Mike Flanagan Scholarship Fund Facebook page (click for link).
“City Sports” is published Saturdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email staff reporter John Habib at firstname.lastname@example.org.