Hawks Solidify Homegrown Backcourt

The St. Joe's Hawks are loading up in the backcourt. Recently, the Hawks added homegrown talent Derrick Rivera of St. John Neumann-Goretti.

Phil Martelli is having an excellent recruiting season and he's not had to go far to get it done. The Hawks newest recruit is Neumann-Goretti combo guard Derrick Rivera.

The 6-foot-2 Rivera joins Darrin Govens, another Philadelphia product.

"I think he liked to stay home," Neumann assistant John Mosco said. "He had a great relationship with Mike Rice and Phil Martelli. They were the leader the whole way but when it seemed like they might get Jawan Carter or Reggie Redding, he felt it was time to make a decision."

Rivera, the nephew of the late Hank Gathers, averaged 16 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4 steals in a combo guard role as a junior. He was the MVP of January's Dell Curry Shootout. He does one thing as well as any guard we've seen in the Class of 2006: he defends.

"He has a gift," Mosco said. "He works so hard and he gets better and improves each year. He always has to defend the best player. He's the only guy in the area who gives Reggie Redding fits and he bothers Wayne Ellington."

Rivera lives just 5 miles from the Hawk's campus. He had offers from Rhode Island, Penn State, LaSalle and Temple. However, St. Joe's was the leader in the clubhouse for a long time.

"I think it's a perfect fit," Mosco said. "They were playing together in the all-star game and it makes St. Joe's really athletic in the backcourt. He knows there's stability and the coach is going to be there all four years. They'll play in the NCAA or the NIT every year."

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