Hopkins Academy’s Andrew Ciaglo to continue basketball career at DII Cameron University

Posted: 06/09/2022 17:46:51

Andrew Ciaglo feared there was no place for him. The college coaches who told the Hopkins Academy senior he could play for them turned around and said their rosters were full.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen after I kept getting these phone calls,” Ciaglo said. “We just hung on.”

Eventually he found a home, even though it’s a long way from Hadley. Ciaglo will play at Cameron University in Lawton, Okla., he tweeted on Monday. The Aggies participate in the Division II Lone Star Conference.

“The first thought is, ‘yeah I’m going to be a long way from home and stuff.’ This is a new opportunity for me. I will look into it as I go to make the most of my opportunity,” Ciaglo said. “If I don’t go out there and do my best. better and that I don’t take anything for granted, I’m not going to live up to what the potential could be out there. I’m going to go out there and give it my all.

But how does a kid from Hadley end up in Oklahoma? Another Hopkins Academy graduate brought him there. Aggies head coach Kevin O’Connor graduated from Hopkins Academy and played for Ciaglo’s father, Fred. He was hired by Cameron in March after five years at Murray State College in Tishomingo, Okla.

The Ciaglos visited him last summer so he could practice with the team and get a feel for the college level. They were weighing graduate options at the time and O’Connor told them that Andrew had a place with him at Murray State.

“I watched Andrew grow up,” O’Connor said. “I have known the Ciaglos all my life. I owe a lot to his father, he helped me get started in coaching.

As those other offers dried up, O’Connor reasserted Ciaglo’s place even when he changed jobs.

“He’s got a good feel for the game, it’s a case of having his best basketball in front of him,” O’Connor said. “I know the level of talent in Western Mass. is undervalued and underrecruited. He’s had great coaching along the way. He’s a drug addict, he’s an incredibly hard worker. I think he can flourish.

Ciaglo had aimed to play college basketball since he was a freshman despite excelling in three sports at Hopkins Academy. He could have played college baseball if he wanted to, but he kept tabs on what he wanted.

“That’s been the #1 thing, the dream,” Ciaglo said.

It is also a step towards a larger goal. Ciaglo would like to be a coach when he is done playing. He will study sport and exercise science at Cameron.

Kyle Grabowski can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.

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