Well at the end of the day. If you don’t believe in yourself, then nobody will. In the end it comes down to how bad a kid wants it and how big they are willing to dream. Yes there has to be some help along the way, but nothing comes easy when you have the cards stacked against you. Angelina Dragone had every card in the deck stacked against her. Everything screamed move on, settle and get on with the business of chasing new dreams. But Angelina Dragone had other ideas, as to what her future held. She committed to Catholic University in January. So you just may be wondering what too so long for me to honor her, to congratulate her for so such an accomplishment. You may think this old news,  her commitment has been posted on social media months ago. Everyone has said all the nice words and gave she and her parents a big pat on the back. But for me that was not enough, I have been waiting and thinking about tomorrow. Tomorrow is the first day of Spring NBS and I have a gift for Angelina Dragone. A gift I have been holding on too for 4 long months. It has not been easy, but tomorrow I get to do what I have hoping to do for a long time. Show  some love to Angelina Dragone, not for signing with Catholic University. I wanted to honor her for being different from most kids today. I wanted to honor her for being a role model for some many other young kids. There is no way she will believe that she is a role model, but she is and that’s a fact. Now her name will be in the ears of every kid who comes to NBS who has doubts, feels like a ghost and left out. She will be that shinning ray of light to the kids, she will be the name mentioned when that kid is at the door and thinking about quitting, moving on and feeling a new journey and dream...ANGELINA DRAGONE WILL REMIND THEM TO BELIEVE ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE…. LIKE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY!




























The first time I met Angelina Dragone, 3 years ago, I told her to get in shape. I asked her everyday she showed up at the gym, “did you run today”. This is a tricky subject these days. It’s a quick to find yourself in hot water as a coach. But I could see the passion in Angelina Dragone eyes. She was searching and wanting the something big in her life. We say this words  SO OFTEN THESE DAYS  but most often they’re just throw away lines. But went it comes to Angelina those words, have real meaning and truth. My harsh words may have cut like a knife , but she ate them and more importantly went to work. Her answer everyday was “YES”. It’s why today she has that college ready body that coaches dream body. Angelina could only get to this point if she believed in herself.  She needed an inner strength that comes from a place that only she knows about. She knew were she played high school basketball  would give her the visibility needed to grab the attention of college coaches.  So she had to think different and be different. So took every challenge that was put in front of her. She did it without being acknowledged or given any credit. She had to feels the tears roll down her face and live though the disappoints in the dark of the night, that only she and her family could feel or see. That’s that way it comes sometimes but it did not and could not break her. Her goals and dreams just meant too much to her and she was willing to do all; Make any sacrifice it took to make her her dreams come true. She wasn’t rewarded with love along the way,  she didn’t gets the awards or media hype, everyone gets a trophy didn’t apply to her. She didn’t get those feel good moments that most kids gets,  thats puts gas in their tanks, to keep them motivated and driven. Angelina Dragone didn’t get credit for doing a great job. Angelina Dragone got to where is going these days on her own. They said it takes a village to rise a basketball player. Well Angelina Dragone had a village it was her family. Everything else was just scenery along the way on the journey to CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY.






When you score just under 300 points, grab over 300 rebounds and block 4o shots, it’s a story in the girls basketball world. How many kids can actually say they have done this? Not many, only the mega stars and those kids who are household names. But when you play at Our Lady of the Mercy in South Jersey. The media is not exactly giving you the love, talking about your big moments. You can get lost, but Angelina Dragone, knew all this before she attended the school. She had to believe she could beat the system. It the only way she could possibility think, she have the nerve to  thing she could get a prime time education to go along with her basketball dreams. Only Angelina Dragone could believe this was all possible at such a low profile basketball school. But when she joined the Shoreshots organization, she caught a few breaks. First she got exposure, they she got the most important thing of all…COACHING. You see most people don’t know Mary Beth Chambers is one of the best teachers of post player in all of New Jersey. Does the name Sam Clark ring a bell. That’s okay, I will let you do your homework about one of the best post players in shore history on your own. In Mary Beth Chambers, Angelina Dragone found a coach that would allow her to fail, make mistakes and still continue to teach her. Do not take want I am about to say lightly. Angelina Dragone was not much to talk about before Mary Beth Chambers walked into her life. She gave Angelina what every kid needs, a road map to improvement and an opportunity. What more can a kid ask for? I can tell you the answer to that question, the brains to take advantage of this opportunity. Angelina Dragone did just this and she went from being just another tall girl to a a baller and player that could do big things. Catholic University just got a player who can score on the block, step away and make jumpers, rebound and defend in traffic and who is competitive as they come.  All you have to do is spent a weekend at NBS and watch her against some to the best forward in New Jersey to understand this! Angelina Dragone now will be at one of the best academic schools in the country and one of the best basketball programs in the country. In case you didn’t know….CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY PLAYS FOR CHIPS… THE BIG CHIPS…. THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS….. ANGELINA DRAGONE JUST GOT THEM CLOSER TO ANOTHER ONE!







I watched on NBS senior day as other seniors not named Angelina Dragone receive their poster in the fall. The poster with the name of the college that they would be attending. Angelina, got a T- Shirt. Not everyone gets a T shirt at NBS and there not for sale, you have to earn it. No kid has earned it more than Angelina Dragone. She and her parents took a picture and smiled that day. But I felt bad that Angelina, who had worked as hard as any kid in the NBS program not have a poster. The kid who showed up for everything, the kid who never skipped a workout session at NBS and did all you ask her to do, walk out on senior night without a poster.  I told her that she would get her poster  too , I promised her I would give it to her in the spring and it would be the best one of all. She smiled at me and said these words “TINY DON’T WORRY I WON’T SETTLE”. She knew I was worried that she would do what so many other kids do… take the easy out. Pick a school and explain over and over as to why she did. Knowing nobody would believe it. Angelina Dragone knew that her dreams would come true, she knew that her hard work would be rewarded. She knew the 90 mins drives had to be worth it. She knew that everything would end just the way she dreamed it up. That’s because she believed in herself every step of the way. She knew that she had all the tools available to be successful and used them to perfection.  She had the rock in her mother, Mary Ellen who never let her stop dreaming, that drove her everywhere and supported her and believed in her life only a mom can. She refused to allow Angelina to even dream about taking a take short cut. Every card may have been against Angelina Dragone but she just stacked them up and knocked them down.

























I wonder how many times I told Angelina to stop taking jump shots. I wonder how many times she keep shooting them no matter how loud I got. I guess too many times to count. But I really understand now, I thing Angelina Dragone just believed in herself a little more than most kids. I think she just knew that she could prove me wrong. She wanted to be a role model for so many kids and had no idea t hat is exactly what she has become.  Well she has proved me wrong and tomorrow at NBS she can shoot as many jump shots as her heart desires. That’s because no kid I have seen in recent years has had to walk though the fire for so long by herself ….CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY IS IN FOR A BIG SURPRISE  AND SO IS ANGELINA DRAGONE  TOMORROW.… because we are going to shower with love like she has never seen before!


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