By Vin Parise
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Twenty three years ago a young kid from White Plains was the ball boy for the New York Knicks. Rick Pitino was the head coach and Mark Jackson was his buddy.
Fast forward to the present and Steve Masiello has come full circle. He’s played ball at Kentucky, he’s worked for his first mentor Pitino and now he’s home. Masiello has landed his dream job – head coach of the Manhattan College Jaspers.
No stranger to Draddy, Masiello, 33, worked four years at Manhattan for Bobby Gonzalez from 2001 to 2005. During those years, the Jaspers experienced some of the best seasons in school history. Masiello was part of two NCAA Tournament teams and one NIT team as an assistant coach in Riverdale. Masiello has spent the past six seasons as an assistant to Rick Pitino at Louisville and replaces Barry Rohrssen who was fired last month.
Before tomorrow’s press conference at Draddy, I had the chance to catch up with Stevie for a few minutes on the phone. The chat was short because he’s a busy man these days but his words were powerful….
“To be able to come back to the metropolitan area for my first head coaching job is unbelievable. I know the school, I know New York and I know how Manhattan can be successful,” said Masiello. “Manhattan is a special place to me and I can’t wait to get basketball back to being special. I’m not worried about what’s taken place, I’m looking forward. This is a clean slate and we’ll get better every day.”
“I remember the days when NYC kids really, really respected Manhattan,” Masiello said passionately. “If it was a Gauchos kid or a high school star in the metropolitan area, Manhattan was involved – it didn’t matter what other schools were recruiting him. The respect level for Manhattan was sky high around the tri-state area and I can’t wait to get the program back to those days. That’s what has me so excited.”
– Vin Parise
*Be sure to check wfan.com tomorrow for Vin’s one-on-one interview with Steve Masiello after the press conference.