Following Boston College's win over Fordham last week, Eagles head coach Jim Christian awarded senior walkon Steve Perpiglia with a scholarship for his final semester of college. The picture of him telling his family was on Twitter, but the athletic department has released video of the moment in locker room when Christian told him of the award:
We sometimes take sports for granted and make everything about wins and losses. If a coach doesn't win enough, he loses his job as the school sends the team in a different direction. It's easy to forget that these programs are built on the backs of kids, often times barely 21 years old, who bust their butt under sometimes impossible circumstances.
Perpiglia, one of the team captains, has been a walk-on for four years, meaning he is on the basketball team for the love of the sport. The Malvern, PA native didn't have anyone recruiting him out of college, per his 247 sports page, but he made the roster at Boston College, who plays in one of the toughest conferences in the nation.
Perhaps the best part of the video, to me at least, is the reaction of his teammates. Like Jim Christian said, this is about building. A team is a family. Having worked closely with teams throughout college and beyond, I know how sacred and delicate the locker room really is. Having a tight-knit team is incredibly hard to have and balance as a coach. Every coach looks for leadership, but it comes in many forms and places. Bonds are formed and conversations take place that people outside the room are never aware of.
Watching the video is great, and it really gives you a sense of pride. It's a classy gesture by Christian, but the reaction of the senior and the subsequent actions by his teammates are what make me the happiest. This video is worth the price of admission time and time again on Christmas.
Merry Christmas to all, and congratulations to Steve Perpiglia on his spring semester scholarship!