Galdenzi Makes Memories with Morgan Boys’ Hoops
After playing a variety of different sports throughout his childhood, Cooper Galdenzi took an unexpected turn into the world of basketball. Cooper’s path eventually led him to the boys’ basketball team at Morgan, where he helped the Huskies enjoy a memorable campaign on the court this winter.
Cooper recently finished his junior season as a point guard with the Morgan boys’ basketball squad. Cooper earned All-Shoreline Conference First Team honors for a Huskies’ club that won 18 games on its way to reaching the conference final and the semis of states. While Morgan wanted to go all the way in the playoffs, it means a lot to Cooper that he contributed to a thrilling postseason journey during the recent season.
Cooper grew up playing a different sport every season, including football, soccer, lacrosse, and baseball. He had never picked up a basketball until suffering a career-changing injury in 7th grade. Cooper broke his wrist playing football that year and was unable to compete. When he was cleared to return, Cooper made a big decision regarding the sport that he was going to play going forward.
“I didn’t want to play anything contact-wise, because I was still young and nervous about my arm,” says Cooper. “I really got to give it to my cousins for pushing me to do something, instead of just quitting all sports and sitting around.”
Cooper’s cousins would take him to the local parks to play basketball, and he even jumped in to participate in some of the league games. Cooper admits that he wasn’t that good when he first started playing. Cooper tried out for his town’s travel team and didn’t make the roster, but he still felt a strong connection with basketball and wanted to continue pursuing the sport.
“I really took that personal. Ever since then I worked, worked, and worked, and quit all my other sports,” Cooper says. “I knew basketball was going to be my sport and, ever since then, I fell in love with basketball.”
Cooper worked extremely hard to get better in preparation for the high school level. Cooper’s improvement was evidenced by the fact that he was in the mix to play varsity minutes early on his freshman season. Primarily a point guard, Cooper worked his way to a spot on the All-Shoreline Conference First Team for his performance as a junior—quite an accomplishment for someone who had been cut from the first basketball squad that he ever wanted to play for.
The attitude that Cooper brings to both the court and life outside of basketball has played a huge role in his achievements. Cooper credits his competitive nature to both his teammates and Morgan Head Coach Frank Rossi. Coach Rossi has been an instrumental influence in terms of Cooper’s progression into one of the top players in the Shoreline Conference. In turn, Rossi praises Cooper for the basketball player and young man that the junior has become throughout his tenure with the Huskies.
“Cooper’s so passionate about the game. He works so hard at his skills, always willing to learn more, always willing to be better,” says Rossi. “Cooper never settled or was satisfied, and that passion really motivated him to always try and be better. As he begins to put all of that together, he is going to have a very bright future.”
Cooper’s passion for basketball has been sparked by his Morgan teammates. As a freshman, Cooper admired how the team’s seniors treated him as one of their own. Ever since then, Cooper has been forming family bonds with his fellow Huskies.
“They took me in as their little brother and showed me the ways. They taught me how to deal with varsity pressure,” Cooper says. “I couldn’t thank these kids enough.”
Along with the relationships that he’s created, Cooper feels grateful to have contributed to Morgan’s successful postseason treks the past two years, including an undefeated season that saw the Huskies claim the Shoreline Conference title in his sophomore year. This season, Morgan made it back to the Shoreline Conference final, after which it won three games in the Division IV State Tournament to advance to the semifinal round, ultimately finishing the year with a record of 18-9.
Cooper has enjoyed being a go-to player for the Huskies as they’ve made a name for themselves on the postseason stage. Although Morgan came up a little shy of defending its conference title, Cooper loved helping the Huskies go on another exhilarating run this year.
“That was a lot of our motivation, because we promised our seniors that we were going to run it back. We were going to bring a two-peat to Morgan,” Cooper says. “I couldn’t have asked for a better run.”
Cooper feels thankful for everything that he’s gained through basketball and is proud about what he’s accomplished with his cohorts at Morgan. Cooper developed a big-time passion for the sport and has loved every second of representing the Huskies on the hardwood.
“I feel like basketball gave me so much, that I want to give back to basketball. I call basketball my obsession,” says Cooper. “If this sport has done so much for me, I got to put the work in if I want to continue to play.”
Cooper will be turning in his Morgan jersey for a new one when he transfers to the The MacDuffie School in Granby, Massachusetts this fall. Cooper is excited for his new opportunity on the basketball court. While he will miss competing alongside his Huskies’ teammates, Cooper will always cherish the memories that he’s experienced at Morgan throughout the past few years.
“It really broke my heart to tell [Coach Rossi] I’m going to leave Morgan. I’m really excited to see what the underclassmen will do. I wish them the best,” Cooper says. “Just being a part of that team itself, we’d do anything for each other inside or outside of school, inside or outside of basketball. We’re always together. It’s like we’re one big family.”