Delco re:View Spring 2018 - 14

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Delco Special ... In
Dog, these Cats are
the right players, working them in slowly
and developing them with the belief that
they will grow in the program and take
over the leadership when the time comes;
recruiting those with the competitiveness
to prove themselves, those that want
to be a part of something "bigger than
themselves."

April. The men's college basketball
landscape rarely allows for dynasties.
But here stands Villanova, a program
bulldozing through all the obstacles
meticulously designed to obstruct
true dominance. The Wildcats claimed their second national
championship in three years Monday night, April 2nd, with a
79-62 dismantling of Michigan that capped one of the most
impressive stretches in modern history.
It added up to Villanova's 136th victory since the beginning
of the 2014-15 season, the most ever for a Division I team in a
four-year span. The moment it sunk in for these cats ... 67,831
in attendance at the Alamodome in San Antonio; the clock melts
to zeros; the court is showered with confetti; Villanova reserve
guard Donte DiVincenzo, the Final Four's Most Outstanding
Player Award winner who scorched Michigan for 31 points,
launches the basketball toward the heavens, punctuating the
Wildcats' victory!
Time will tell where this Villanova era belongs in the overall
pantheon of college basketball. With a large portion of their core
expected to return, the Wildcats could keep this run going for the
foreseeable future, further establishing themselves as all-time
greats.
The Villanova Wildcats are Wright On! ... How has Jay
Wright managed to build a program like this and sustain it over
a significant period of time? Certainly much of it is recruiting
the right kind of player to accept the style and beliefs relative to
what he calls "Villanova basketball." It is a culture of finding

14 | Spring 2018

One of the most important members
of the NCAA champion Villanova
Wildcats basketball team does not play
on the court. Reverend Robert (Father
Rob) Hagan, the team's associate athletic
director and chaplain, believes that
success is the result of collective strength;
the Wildcats are a "band of brothers."
Father Rob also credits Coach Jay Wright for reminding players
that there is a life after sports. Wright and Father Hagan have
worked together since 2004, nearly the start of Wright's tenure
with the Wildcats. Both teach the players on the team the
importance of being "hungry and humble."

The Spiritual
Connection in the
Final Four
While the 98-year-old nun Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt
received international attention for her role with Loyola
Chicago during its deep run in the N.C.A.A. men's basketball
tournament, another "Delco Special," Rev. Rob Hagan, also had
a spiritual connection to a Final Four team. He has had a hand in
Villanova's success for more than a decade.
Father "Rob" Hagan, a former member of the Delaware
County Bar Association, attended Villanova and went on to law
school at Widener University in nearby Chester, Pa., before
serving as a lawyer for seven years. Now, as an associate
athletic director, and a priest of the Order of St. Augustine, he
lives on campus and travels with the basketball team, for which
he customarily delivers a pregame prayer. But he also serves


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Delco re:View Spring 2018

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