How fitting it was that the Revere High School girls basketball team honored its senior captain, Emily DiGiulio, on a night when it clinched a berth in the MIAA State Tournament.
DiGiulio will be making her 11th consecutive postseason appearance next week and if the girls lacrosse team qualifies, she will have gone a perfect 12 for 12, a feat that would be unprecedented in school history. She has been a part of 70 basketball victories in four seasons.
This season has been particularly satisfying for DiGiulio because most observers believed that a young Revere team would not get close to the 10-win qualifying mark.
But DiGiulio and her teammates wouldn’t be denied and the 5-foot-7-inch guard – the lone senior on the team – has truly paved the way with her floor leadership, playmaking, defense, and clutch play.
“Emily is an amazing captain and an amazing teammate,” said first-year coach Matt Willis. “You don’t meet many kids who are as unselfish as Emily is. She’ll do whatever it takes to help the team. She takes just as much pride in being the girl who swings the ball to the shooter as most girls do as the shooter. There are great kids and then there’s kids like Emily, who are just special for how hard she plays and how unselfish she plays.”
Junior guard Erika Cheever, the team’s leading scorer who poured in 33 points in the tournament-clinching win, has enjoyed her long-time kinship on the court with DiGiulio.
“I’m really happy to score those points for Emily, especially on her Senior Night,” said Cheever. “We’ve being playing basketball together for a long time in middle school and high school. She’s a great teammate and everybody respects her so much.”
DiGiulio commended Coach Willis for giving the players confidence in each other and preparing the team well for each opponent.
“It was a challenge with a small, young team and he had a lot to live up to, coming to a program that had been very successful the last four years – but it all starts with good coaching so I feel like he’s a huge part of where we are right now,” said Emily.
DiGiulio, who is also an All-Star volleyball and lacrosse player, said she was appreciative of having her parents, Peter and Deb, and her older brother, Ben, on hand for Senior Night.
“It means so much to me to have them here – my dad, my mom, my brother – they’ve been with me since I started playing basketball,” said Emily. “It wouldn’t be the same if they weren’t here. Their support got me through four years of high school.”
Ben DiGiulio, a graduate of Syracuse University who now works for one of most popular sports websites in the country, made the trip from New York City to Revere to support his sister.
“I’m so proud of everything that Emily has done over the course of her four years at Revere High, not just in sports, but academically and just the person she’s grown in to and become,” said Ben. “I couldn’t be prouder. I can’t wait to see what she ends up doing in the future. I know she’s going to be successful in whatever she does.”
Peter DiGiulio remembers his daughter accompanying him to his basketball camp (Championship Basketball School at Maritime Academy) when she was 4 years old.
“She started to play competitively in Jeff D’Agostino’s league at the Beachmont when she was in the second grade,” recalled Peter.
Those who saw Emily play back then remember her gift for the game, a second grader excelling against fourth and fifth graders.
The basketball excellence and natural athletic talent extended to the lacrosse field in eighth grade and to volleyball when she joined the EHS program as a freshman.
Now with more than 160 victories among the three high school varsity sports and multiple All-Star honors, the case can be that Emily DiGiulio is among the best overall athletes ever to play at Revere High School.
Director of Athletics Frank Shea said DiGiulio has earned her position as one of the most accomplished athletes of all time.
“Emily is in the top tier of female athletes that we have at the school, playing three sports which is a rarity nowadays,” said Shea. “She has been an integral part of all three programs and she will be missed by all three teams. In basketball, you can see she does a little bit of everything, the rebounds, the steals, the assists, the points – she plays tough defense. She’s the type of athlete that all our programs need.”