Fenwick graduate coaches team to La Salle University Sweet 16

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By Brad Spencer

Sports Editor

So we're a bit late in this revelation but give us a break for we were busy sunning on a gulf coast beach while on vacation, but Fenwick High School has a connection to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament worthy of note.

John Giannini, the head coach for La Salle University — located in north Philadelphia — that led his Explorers to upsets over Kansas State and Mississippi, graduated from Fenwick in 1980.

La Salle's run in the tournament was the school's deepest in 58 years. The Explorers' 63-61 second round win over Kansas State was the school's first tournament victory since 1990.

Giannini, an Elmwood Park native who has been at La Salle for nine seasons, formerly coached at Maine and Division III Rowan College, where his team won a national title. His combined coaching record is 436-287.

In a story written by Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh last month, Giannini was quoted as saying, "In terms of maturity, character and education, Fenwick transformed my life."

LaSalle lost to fellow Cinderella team Wichita State in the Sweet 16 round, but Giannini's name has been linked to many open top level college coaching jobs.

There's no word on whether he'd consider taking the same available position at Fenwick.

Email: bspencer@oakpark.com Twitter: OakParkSports

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