CLARK, NJ – Clark’s seventh-grade girls’ and boys’ travel basketball teams were recognized for winning seasons during what Mayor Sal Bonaccorso called a “Night of Champions” at Monday’s council meeting.
Councilman Steve Hund is president of the Clark Travel Basketball League, while Bonaccorso serves as the organization's vice-president. They both presented awards to the two teams Monday evening.
“You can have all the talent in the world, but if you’re not coachable and not willing to work with your team, it really means very little,” Bonaccorso said.
This season, the girls won their age group in the 13th annual Clark Travel Basketball Winter Tournament as well as the Central Jersey Basketball League Tournament last weekend.
Introducing the girls’ head coach Sam Grasso, Bonaccorso said, “He’s a terrific guy, a terrific coach and a real friend.”
Grasso thanked the mayor, the league and the council for their support. He spoke about his players' growth over the years they have played together. The team formed when the girls were in fourth grade.
“This is the third year in a row that we’ve won this tournament [Clark Winter Tournament]," Grasso said. "That’s a big feat. They came a long way…. it’s all the hard work they put in.”
The seventh grade boys won the Clark Travel Basketball Winter Tournament for the second year in a row. The team also won the New Jersey Basketball Association League Championship.
Bonaccorso is the head coach of the team along with assistant coaches John Zamboni and Hund.
“You need to have assistants to help you which are people who actually do more than you from time to time,” Bonaccorso said. “I’m very lucky to have John and Steve as assistants but more importantly as friends.”
“We’ve had these guys since third grade,” Bonaccorso said about the boys. “And it’s really so funny to see how they’ve matured; becoming young men.”
During his closing remarks, Hund congratulated both teams on their “tremendous seasons.” Councilman Bill Smith and Council President Angel Albanese also offered their congratulations.
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