Gaetano Division I Bound

by Lucas Shapiro | Sunday, September 12th, 2010

Gaetano Division I Bound

Phil Gaetano accomplished all that one could during his high school career at Sheehan High School. 

Playing for his father, Joe Gaetano, Phil earned every award and accolade the SCC and CIAC had to offer, broke the school’s all time assist record, and went on to lead his team to a state championship in his senior season, the first of his father’s coaching career.   

Despite all of that success, questions persisted his ability to translate his game to the next level, and when none of the scholarship offers he picked up during his senior year were exactly the right fit, he opted for a post-graduate year at Choate Rosemary Hall. 

“The biggest thing for me was getting stronger, which also helped my jump shot become more consistent” Gaetano said.  “My goal was to get a scholarship to play college basketball while also getting another year to develop my game.  So far the decision has worked out really well.” 

The post-graduate year allowed Gaetano another year on the AAU circuit where he continued to star with his Connecticut Basketball squad this summer, running the show as the team’s starting point guard and helping them to multiple championships during the course of the season and a run to the Final Four of the AAU National Championships in Orlando. 

Gaetano came out of the summer with additional scholarship interest and offers from a variety of division I and II programs. 

Of all those programs, no one recruited Gaetano quite as hard as Sacred Heart, who he visited officially this weekend. 

“The coaches had been recruiting me for a while now and told me that they really wanted me,” he said.  “I felt very comfortable with the coaches and when I visited I liked the atmosphere and felt like that was the place where I could succeed.” 

That success is expected to come on both the court as well as in the classroom as Gaetano will officially enroll as a sophomore next year thanks to the number of AP classes he has taken during his high school career and is expected to graduate from SHU in four years with a Master’s degree. 

As for his work on the court, Gaetano will find himself in familiar surroundings as he will reunite with former AAU teammates Chris Evans, Steve Glowiak, Stanford Dulaire, and Nick Greenbacker

“The guys on the team were very accepting and nice to me on my visit.  Everyone up there gets along really well,” he said.  “Next year they have a senior who also plays point guard but the coaches said they could see me playing as well next year.” 

Gaetano is the first player to commit to Sacred Heart in the class of 2011.