Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Sports

Former Armwood basketball standout awarded national scholar athlete title

Having enough talent to reach the Division 1 level of college basketball takes a plethora of skill.

Balancing schoolwork successfully at a university while playing hoops adds more difficulty.

Excelling at both is reserved for the kind of student-athlete the NCAA dreams about.

Consider Adam Sollazzo the poster boy.

The D1-AAA Athletics Directors Association recently named the former Armwood and current East Tennessee State star men's national scholar athlete of the year.

"At first when I found out, I was shocked because there are so many players at so many big schools who applied," Sollazzo said. "It's a great honor."

Sollazzo, who has posted a 3.72 grade point average while studying business marketing at East Tennessee, will graduate magna cum laude this spring.

He credited his parents Paul and Terry — both of whom are teachers — for his success in balancing sports with academics. Terry is a former Hillsborough County Teacher Of The Year.

"My parents instilled in me hard work," he said. "They taught me school comes first and sports are second. They really emphasized that to me."

East Tennessee director of intercollegiate athletics Dave Mullins said Sollazzo's honor reflects the school's hopes for each athlete.

"Adam is an example of why we do what we do in ETSU athletics," Mullins said. "We set out with each scholar-athlete in our program to develop their athletic skills, give them the tools to succeed academically, and give them the chance to serve their community and campus. Adam continuously took advantage of each of those three opportunities as a part of this program and it has served him well."

Sollazzo led the 17-14 Bucs in scoring this season at 14.9 points per game and also paced East Tennessee with 4.4 assists per game.

"Adam has been a great representative for our basketball program for the last four years," head coach Murry Bartow said. "His is truly an outstanding scholar-athlete, and I am pleased he has been part of our ETSU program."

Sollazzo said winning a pair of conference championships tops his list of on-court accomplishments, but the relationships forged at East Tennessee will be his most cherished memories.

"Getting those two (conference championship) rings was awesome," he said. "But I have a whole new bunch of brothers now who are members of my family."

Sollazzo, who also played in a pair of NCAA Tournaments his freshman and sophomore years, said getting to the Big Dance is another highlight of his career.

"It's hard to put into words how you feel because getting to the tournament and playing teams of that caliber is something every kids who plays basketball dreams of," he said. "I won't lie, I was a little spoiled after making it my first two years."

Sollazzo said basketball is in his immediate future and he's currently trying to get some NBA workouts to showcase his ability prior to June's draft.

"It's every kid's dream to play in the NBA," he said. "But if that doesn't work out I'd want to play overseas or in the (NBA's) Developmental League and try to get there someday."

Comments
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Blackhawks

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Blackhawks

CHICAGO — Turns out, Andrei Vasilevskiy is all right.And, believe it or not, so is the Lightning’s penalty kill, which was the unlikely hero in Monday’s streak-snapping 2-0 win over the Blackhawks at the United Center.Vasilevskiy, 23, played like the...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning angered by slash that has Ondrej Palat out 6-8 weeks

Lightning angered by slash that has Ondrej Palat out 6-8 weeks

CHICAGO — The Lightning got more bad news Monday with wing Ondrej Palat out 6-8 weeks with a lower-body injury. It’s a big blow to a struggling Tampa Bay team, which is now without its top defense­man (Victor Hedman) and now arguably its best defensi...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Bucks fire Kidd in midst of slump

MILWAUKEE — The Bucks fired coach Jason Kidd on Monday amid a midseason slide that has left the playoff hopeful in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. It was a surprising end to Kidd’s three-plus season tenure in Milwaukee, when the Bucks made th...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Mrazek strong in goal again as Red Wings blank Devils

NEWARK, N.J. — Petr Mrazek had 37 saves in posting his second straight shutout and third of the season as the Red Wings beat the slumping Devils 3-0 on Monday night. Tyler Bertuzzi, David Booth and Dylan Larkin scored for the Red Wings, who snapped a...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballArkansas at Georgia6:30 p.m.SECProvidence at Villanova6:30 p.m.FS1Kansas at Oklahoma7 p.m.ESPNWisconsin at Iowa7 p.m.ESPN2Oklahoma State at Texas Tech7 p.m.ESPNewsVanderbilt at Tennessee7 p.m.ESPNUDavidson at Dayton7 p.m.CBSSNW...
Updated: 6 hours ago

MELBOURNE, Australia — Back-to-back shockers resulted in a most unexpected Australian Open men’s quarterfinal. Six-time champion Novak Djokovic and fifth-ranked Dominic Thiem lost within a few hours Monday, leaving Hyeon Chung and Tennys Sandgren pla...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Blackhawks

Matt Peca and Michael Bournival likely won’t be the last callups by the Lightning the next month or so. There are plenty of other deserving candidates at AHL Syracuse, with Adam Erne likely getting a shot had he not been injured. With Ondrej Palat ou...
Updated: 6 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 22

Monday’s scoreboardBoys soccerPalm Harbor U. 3, Clearwater 0Boca Ciega 3, Indian Rocks Christian 1Girls soccerClass 4A, District 10: Countryside 7, Clearwater 0; Dixie Hollins 2, East Lake 0Class 3A, District 10: Osceola 14, Gibbs 0...
Updated: 6 hours ago

NHL All-Star Game Skills Competition gets some changes

Skills Competition gets a new lookThe NHL switched up its format for Saturday’s All-Star Game Skills Competition (7 p.m, NBSCN). There will be six events, including the traditional hardest shot, accuracy shooting, plus a passing challenge, puck contr...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Vikes’ Shurmur to lead Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was hired as the Giants head coach Monday afternoon. The Giants announced the hiring less than 24 hours after Shurmur and the Vikings were beaten by the Eagles in the NFC title game. S...
Updated: 8 hours ago