Simply the Best: Why I Coach

The following is the speech I gave tonight at the 17th Annual Chariho Sports Boosters Hall of Fame Banquet (April 12th, 2014) in honor of Allegra Lovoy.

“Hello Chariho community, coaches, family/friends, HOF committee, boosters and the 2014 HOF induction class.

Congratulations to all of the inductees.

It is truly Special evening for all involved…and that’s the theme for the evening…”SPECIAL.”

From a personal standpoint, I feel special for having the honor to introduce Allegra Lovoy to the 2014 inductee class. I was blessed with the privilege to coach Allegra at the high school and AAU levels for over five years. She is one of the most tireless workers I have ever been associated with at any level of coaching. I remember fondly all of our workouts at OMF, Brusseau Park or whatever random gym we could find. Allegra helped shape me into the coach I am today, as I always had to find creative ways to challenge her and get her to the next level. Allegra, I thank you for this.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, Allegra is one of the best players I have ever coached. Period. Allegra, I hope I had a positive impact on your development as a student-athlete, but more importantly as a person.

Allegra has a special bond with the game. Not only is she naturally gifted but she has proven her worth to the basketball gods through her dedication, passion and love for the sport. Before I knew Allegra I heard stories of a girl who used to dribble to and from school and was the definition of a “Gym Rat”. A quiet, reserved, basketball junkie, who was defined by the game and the wins and losses that come with it.

Now look at her. I truly believe that through basketball she has transformed into the young lady that is being honored tonight. She loves to travel, loves to talk, loves to learn and is now sharing the game as a coach. Her basketball journey will continue as a mentor and will not be defined merely by wins and losses.

If you notice I have not discussed Allegra’s honors or individual accomplishments. There are many. Too many to list. However, she is not about that. Never was, never will be.

Allegra went on to become one of Salve Regina’s most decorated athletes. Allegra was the consummate teammate and always was more worried about the “W” than individual statistics.

Lastly, every Hall of Fame has it’s members and all are deserving and accomplished. But that is not why tonight is special for Chariho Athletics or Allegra. Tonight is special because every Hall of Fame has the “special wing”. You know, the special wing. The NBA has Russell, Wilt, Magic, Bird, and Jordan as members. MLB’s houses Ruth, Aaron and Williams. The NHL has Howe, Orr, Gretzky that reside and the NFL has the likes of Jim Brown, Rice, and Marino. This special wing is reserved for the greats of the game; the best of the best. Those who leave a lasting legacy and whose prowess, skill, heart, unbreakable records and desire to compete are preserved for all-time.

Well tonight Chariho, you honor arguably the best female athlete in your history: Ms. Allegra Lovoy.”