Mike Iuzzolino will be playing at Saint Francis’ DeGol Arena at some point in the next year, resurrecting memories of the most famous name in Red Flash basketball over the past 40 years.
It won’t he that Mike Iuzzolino, though. This one will be Mike Jr., son of the Saint Francis and Northeast Conference legend.
Oh, and he won’t be playing for Saint Francis.
Mike Iuzzolino Jr. — a sharpshooting guard just like his father — committed Saturday night to play for Bryant, a member of the NEC. The Bulldogs have been one of the league’s better teams in recent years and have played several key games against Saint Francis.
The next time Bryant visits Loretto, later on next season, Iuzzolino Jr. will be a member of the Bulldogs, who are coached by Jared Grasso.
— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) April 10, 2021
“It has been a rough year to be a recruit in the 2021 class so thank you to all the coaches that have recruited me throughout this process,” Iuzzolino wrote. “I am blessed to say that I will be committing to Bryant University to play my dream of Division I basketball. Thank you Coach Grasso for allowing me to have this opportunity to play for such a great program! Go Bulldogs!”
Iuzzolino, a 6-foot-1 point guard, played in high school at North Allegheny, then at Canterbury in Connecticut before spending his final season at First Love Christian Academy in Washington, Pa.
The younger Iuzzolino got his first scholarship offer from Robert Morris last year. His dad is an assistant coach for the Colonials, but Mike Jr. said this about the father-son connection in a story at Pittsburgh Sports Now:
“It’s funny because everyone thinks my dad had something to do with it, but he had nothing to do with it. He actually wanted nothing to do with offering me and didn’t want to be involved. Coach (Andy) Toole was the one that actually called and offered me the scholarship. He told me that I’m someone that’s able to make a lot of shots at a high percentage, someone that can make tough shots, he likes how competitive and my work ethic. I’ve worked to get to this point because I’m in the gym every single day shooting and lifting, I don’t take days off. He told me that if I do end up going to RMU, that I have a chance to really help them and hopefully one day win championships.”
Iuzzolino will end up trying to make his mark at another school, though, in joining Bryant, which became Division I in 2008.
Iuzzolino’s father became an NEC legend when he led Saint Francis to its only NCAA Tournament appearance in 1991. An Altoona, Pa., native, Mike Sr. began his college career at Penn State before transferring to Saint Francis, where he averaged 21.3 points as a junior and 24.1 as a senior.
Mike Sr. was selected in the second round (35th overall) in the 1991 NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks and played two seasons for the team, averaging 9.0 points in 122 games (44 starts). He then played many years and enjoyed great success overseas, and in 2017 his jersey number was retired by his former team in Italy. He was inducted into the NEC Hall of Fame in 2017.
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