As the ENC basketball teams celebrated Senior Day on Saturday February 4, Anthony Petrelli celebrated the long path it took to get here. Petrilli, a senior Psychology major from Santa Clara, California, had experienced a lot before coming to ENC. Petrilli’s personal experiences and love of basketball has not only made him a devoted player, but one of the wisest members on the team.
“When I think about senior night, I feel so grateful” Petrelli says as he thinks about how he got here. Petrelli recounts “I remember sleeping in a car the summer when I was trying out for my junior college team. I didn’t have any money to rent a room and after my first year in Santa Barbara, and I wasn’t as focused as I should have been. I got suspended from the team and wasn’t allowed to return in the spring.”
After his second year of playing at Santa Barbara, Petrelli explains “I didn’t respond to any schools that showed interest in me. Instead I got a full time job at a bank and was ready to start my adult life, but when I went to my former teammates and roommates first home game in Santa Barbara, I automatically regretted everything about not playing.”
His search for a school to pursue basketball led him to ENC.
“From there,” Petrelli explains “I began talking to schools and ENC felt like the right choice because I knew some people here, and I knew more that were coming. When I came on my recruit visit I had a great time with the guys I was around.”
Since coming to ENC, Petrelli acknowledges the lessons the school has taught him. “Being at ENC, I have learned to never judge. The Lion’s Den has taught me what a strong community looks like, and the best part about it is how every person has a part in making this community so strong.”
It hasn’t all been easy for Petrelli though, which he includes. “The most challenging part about my journey at ENC has been interacting with people that have different interests than me. Even though it was hard at first, it’s been great seeing different perspectives on things and becoming friends with people I never would have thought I would be friends with.”
After all that Petrelli has experienced, he is not without advice for those he leads on the team. “If I could give myself some advice before I got on the plane to attend my first semester at ENC, it would be to cherish all the downs as much as the ups, because in a few years you will be standing in the middle of the floor on senior night with a huge smile because you got to do everything you ever dreamed of.”