MATTHEW Dellavedova’s stellar college basketball career came to a heartbreaking end in the United States yesterday.
Dellavedova’s St Mary’s Gaels were defeated 54-52 by the Memphis Tigers in yesterday’s NCAA Tournament round of 64 clash in Detriot.
Dellavedova, so often the saviour for the Gaels, had a chance to win the game with a last-second three-pointer, but his tough shot went long. The Gaels had trailled by as many as 15 points in the first half before Dellavedova inspired a second-half comeback.
The former Bendigo Junior Braves guard had 10 points, seven assists and three rebounds in his final game.
He leaves St Mary’s as arguably the college’s greatest player. He is the all-time leader in scoring, assists, games played and three-pointers made and attempted.
“He’s just a great person like all around,’’ Gaels centre Brad Waldow said after yesterday’s game.
“He taught me how to be like a winner on and off the court and a great role model, great person.”
Gaels coach Randy Bennett has been Dellavedova’s biggest fan.
The coach now has to prepare for the Gaels without their star point guard.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s ... he’s like a coach on the floor,’’ Bennett said.
“I don’t think on the floor does him justice. I mean, he has set the blueprint for our program, and he’s been in it for these four years, but I think he’ll even help us win as he leaves because he’s... his leadership has been so strong.”
Dellavedova will graduate from St Mary’s in May before setting his sights on the NBA Draft in June.
Should the 22-year-old miss draft selection, a professional career in Europe seems his most likely destination.