Sports Person of the Week
Volpicelli Excels on Two Courts
Giacomo Volpicelli enjoyed a nice senior season on the basketball court at Haddam-Killingworth this year. Giacomo has also seen his fair share of success between the baselines as a tennis player. (Photo courtesy of Giacomo Volpicelli )
Giacomo Volpicelli was a dominant force on the Haddam-Killingworth boys’ basketball team during the 2019-’20 season. A senior shooting guard, Giacomo hit a ton of 3-pointers on his way to averaging a team-high 15 points per game for the year. When the final buzzer sounded, Giacomo had nailed 71 shots from beyond the arc, helping the Cougars qualify for both the Shoreline Conference Tournament and the Division V State Tournament.
A longtime tennis player, Giacomo first stepped on the basketball court at the age of nine. While tennis was always his primary passion, Giacomo discovered that he also liked basketball, as well.
“When I was around nine years old, my mom wanted me to play basketball and try a new sport,” says Giacomo. “Since I was three, all I ever played was tennis, but playing basketball definitely sparked a new interest in me.”
Giacomo certainly gave H-K a spark with his hot shooting from 3-point land throughout his senior year. For starters, Giacomo scored 31 points when the Cougars earned a 68-67 victory at Oxford to pick up their first victory of the season. Later in the campaign, he averaged 31 points per contest during a three-game stretch that saw H-K defeat St. Paul, Coginchaug, and North Branford to put itself in position to qualify for postseason play.
“When he was hot, Giacomo was one of the best shooters I’ve ever seen. The great thing is that when teams tried to stop him, it freed up other guys to score,” Head Coach Jim Abbott says. “Giacomo was a very coachable player, took my critiques very well, and never had anything bad to say about anybody. Our team will miss him next year.”
Giacomo credits his relationship with Coach Abbott as one of the main factors behind his growing passion for basketball. Giacomo adds that the team aspect of basketball and the excitement among the fans in the stands are two of the biggest reasons why he enjoys playing the sport.
“My favorite thing is probably the atmosphere that it creates. The crowd, the noise, the anticipation before a game all creates a fun, exciting experience,” Giacomo says. “Our game against our archrival [Coginchaug] this season was electric. Mason Gorham hit a deep 3-pointer to win the game, and the entire gym erupted. It was an all-together moment. Just amazing.”
Following his sophomore season, Giacomo moved out to California and did not play basketball for a year. Last year, Giacomo came back to Connecticut to rejoin H-K for his senior campaign, and he’s happy that he got to experience one last go-round in the Cougars’ uniform. Although tennis has always been front and center, Giacomo wanted to make the most of his final year playing high school hoops.
“To be honest, basketball has always kind of been my second sport,” says Giacomo. “During the winter season is the only real time I get to train for basketball. So, making sure I go to all the practices was really important in helping me stay on top of my game.”
While Giacomo has carved out his niche on the hardwood, he’s seen even more success on the tennis court. As a freshman, Giacomo played for the H-K boys’ tennis team and took the title in the Shoreline Conference Tournament’s 1-2 singles bracket. He has since taken his game to the independent circuit in order to focus on competing at a higher level. Giacomo is looking to continue his career on both courts in the collegiate ranks.
“Next year, I plan to play tennis and hopefully basketball in college,” Giacomo says. “I hope to take tennis to another level and keep my basketball skills up to par. Next year is going to be a great year.”