Initiative and passion: Giuliani makes name for himself on basketball team
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TOWAMENCIN- With a school home to over 3,000 students and almost 20 different athletic programs, it takes an exceptional player to be able to make his name within just a year of being at NPHS; however, David Giuliani transferred for his senior year and has already made a name for himself on the court. Following in his sister Mikaela Giuliani’s footsteps, who was a legendary basketball player at NPHS, one could say basketball runs in the Giuliani family. However, it may be hard to believe that basketball was not his primary choice from the beginning.
“I’ve been playing [basketball] forever. My dad played basketball, so when we were big enough to pick up a ball we started playing. Originally, I was a football player, but in 9th grade I got back surgery, after injuring it by lifting weights wrong over time, and was told football was out of the question, so I just started focusing on basketball. It was kind of hard; I really did want to play football. I looked forward to it, but when the doctor tells you you physically can’t play, it’s not a good idea to continue. You could just hurt yourself more,” said Giuliani.
After committing to focusing on basketball, Giuliani played high-school basketball for two years at Phil-Mont Christian Academy. He experienced two successful seasons and made it to the quarter-finals last year. Giuliani explained that moving schools wasn’t too difficult because Phil-Mont was fairly small and most of his friends were in the senior class. Not only that, but he had close relationships with people at NPHS.
“I made some really close friends in my class there too and it was such a small school, everybody knows you, so it was kind of hard to leave there. The transition was pretty easy besides the size of the school and trying not to get lost, but everything seemed pretty easy because I knew everyone here already,” said Giuliani.
Giuliani grew up playing with several of the athletes on NPHS’s basketball team, but compared to the Phil-Mont team, he noted a difference between the two. With Phil-Mont being such a small school and him only having a graduating class of 32 kids, Giuliani explained that it makes it easier for people to know everything about each other, which molded the team together. However, at NPHS, his relationship with his team is great.
“David Giuliani is one of the most passionate players that I have played basketball with. He works hard day in and day out at practice, which prepares him for games. Dave makes sure all aspects of his game are refined to make him the biggest threat on the court. His court awareness and basketball IQ is very high which makes him excel. Dave is a soft-spoken leader, who is one of the biggest team players. Dave plays great defense and spreads the floor on offense in both the post and on the perimeter. Dave respects everyone and is one of the nicest teammates you will meet off of the court. I respect and regard David Giuliani as one of the best student athletes at North Penn,” said teammate and close friend, Noah Kwortnik.
Toward the end of junior year, Giuliani made his decision to come back to NP. Contacting the coaches, he tried to participate in the workouts the basketball team was holding to start getting himself involved. His plan was to be as involved as possible for the upcoming year to show the coaches how he could contribute.
“David has been a key player to the team this year, because he gives us such a strong presence in our half-court offense. Our team likes to play fast, but when the other team is able to limit our transition opportunities, throwing the ball inside to David is a high percentage play. He’s good at getting position inside, and he’s so strong that he’s difficult to move off the block. Once he has it inside, he makes good decisions with the ball,” said Head Coach John Conrad.
After his head injury during the district playoff game against Coatesville, Giuliani had to sit out of the Playbacks for State seeding against the number on team, Perkiomen Valley. He felt confident the team could still win without him as long as they played strong defense, which they did. Giuliani noted that the attitude of the team this year has been the key to their success.
“We don’t want to lose; we have a willingness to win and that’s a big thing. We have a really athletic team with a lot of guys that can’t stand losing, so the fear of losing or fear of failure pushes us to compete more and worker harder in our games to get the win. All the guys on the team are buying into not wanting to be the losing team,” said Giuliani.
Individually, Giuliani has a goal for every game that seems to be working for him this season. Being a forward, he is supposed to get rebounds and score points, but he takes that to the next level; his goal for every game is to just grab ten rebounds and not worry about the amounts of points he scores. He goes for as many rebounds as possible because he knows the rebounds usually turn into points for his teammates or himself.
“David is a tough, physical player that loves to compete. He can play inside with his back to the basket, or he can play outside on the perimeter facing the basket. He is an outstanding rebounder on both ends of the floor,” said Conrad.
Giuliani is going to continue his basketball career at Merrimack College, located in Massachusetts, which is a D2 school, and he’s attending thanks to a full scholarship to play basketball that he earned. Giuliani was observed by colleges this past summer while playing for a team in North East Philly called Hoop Dreams, but they did want to see how he’d perform in a bigger league and being more well known. Playing in the bigger league that NPHS is in solidified what a lot of coaches over the summer thought about him being able to contribute to their teams.
“My parents definitely support it. I’m sure they’d like it if [basketball] didn’t take so much time out of the year, but they are always supportive and at every game cheering. They were a big help in the recruiting process, so it was beneficial to have parents on board with the whole basketball aspect of my academics,” said Giuliani.