Basketball coach sticks to his roots for success
Head coach Andrew D’Eloia has brought the Northport boy’s basketball team to its first undefeated season.
D’Eloia is in his fourth year as head coach, but he is no stranger to the halls and basketball courts at Northport High School. He graduated from Northport in 1991 and played as point guard for the boy’s basketball team.
“I’m extremely familiar with the district,” D’Eloia said in a phone interview. “I wanted to be able to give back to the community. The Northport High School basketball team did a lot for me, to help me develop — it taught me discipline, teamwork and investing in a common goal.”
D’Eloia now lives in Huntington with his family and owns AD Hoops Training, a basketball training business in Brooklyn.
Before coming back to Northport, he worked as an assistant coach at various institutions including Hunter College in Manhattan and Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School in Brooklyn. He was then offered the assistant coach job at Northport High School and D’Eloia jumped at the opportunity.
After a year as assistant coach, D’Eloia became head coach, and while he said he didn’t want to bring any major changes to the team, he did want to implement some new focus points.
Among his ideas, he said he wanted to encourage the boys to set up a plan for the off-season, to stay in the best shape they could. He said he believes this helped the team’s bond become even stronger.
“The team chemistry is phenomenal,” he said. “This is one of the best teams I’ve been around in terms of the element of camaraderie, and it’s one of the most unselfish groups as well.”
Since taking over as head coach in 2012, the boy’s record is 72-14, they have won 18 playoff games and made it to the Suffolk County final four all four years. In 2013, the boy’s made it all the way to the state semifinals but fell to New Rochelle.
This was the first year since 1995 that the team has gone undefeated in the league, and D’Eloia credited that to the work of the entire team.
“They are coachable and they do right both on and off the court,” he said. “This is a team in every sense of the word.”
The head coach said that not only are the starting players key to the success of this season but also the supporting players, who have worked well to “conserve small minutes.”
Looking forward, D’Eloia said he hopes his team will continue to play at the highest level possible at every game and go as far as they can in the playoffs.