In his last year as head coach of the Westchester Hawks, players such as Mookie Jones (Syracuse), Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas), Kevin Jones (West Virginia), and Trinity Fields (Iona) helped the Hawks carve out a tremendous summer of AAU victories.
Rizzo spent last season as an assistant coach under Bob Hurley, Sr. at St. Anthony's High School in Jersey City, N.J. So when an opportunity came along to coach Gorton High School in Yonkers, N.Y., Hurley was very supportive to Rizzo to take the next step as a head coach of a high school program.
While he is in the midst of trying to elevate the status of Gorton High School basketball, Rizzo does take great job in seeing and talking to his former players.
"I saw Kevin before he went to West Virginia," Rizzo said. "He was typical Kevin. He had a big smile on his face. He was excited about playing in the Big East."
The summer of competition that Jones spent with Tom Jennings' program was a valuable one for Kevin. And having the months playing for Rizzo will certainly help Kevin down the road.
"I think he'll do well at West Virginia," Rizzo said. "Kevin's game improved and he was showing small forward skills too. I think he'll do well at West Virginia because he works hard."
Jones was a player to root for since he did work hard and always was pleasant to talk to while working the AAU circuit. And he had some great help from head coach Bob Cimmino and the Mount Vernon program as well as great support from his family.
"It's always a pleasure to see the kids develop and have great college careers," Rizzo said.