Athletics Hall of Fame Inducts 2011 Class

It was a bitterly cold Saturday afternoon in January, but spirits were running high in the Yanitelli Center on the Jersey City campus of Saint Peter’s College. Not only did the men’s basketball team (13-9, 8-3 MAAC) take sole possession of second place in the MAAC after an 80-60 win over the Rider University Broncs (15-8, 7-4 MAAC), but the Saint Peter’s College Athletics Department inducted seven individuals and the 1990-91 men’s basketball team into its Athletics Hall of Fame.

The inductees were honored with a special introduction during halftime. Individual honorees included women’s basketball players Joan (Black) Bellotti ’69, Lindsay Gonzalez ’04 and Mildred Washington ’03; men’s soccer player Pablo Orantes ’05; and football player Jon Wasielewski ’03. In addition, Dr. Peter DeLuca ’81 was the recipient of the Special Achievement Award and Drew Bauman was honored with the Special Service Award.

“I am so excited to be a part of this group. It was very unexpected,” said Pablo Orantes ’05, arguably the best defensive player in men’s soccer history at Saint Peter’s. Orantes, currently the associate director of financial aid at Saint Peter’s, had nothing but praise for “the program itself and the people that were a part of the team. For us to go that far…,” he smiled as he reminisced about the 2003 season when the Peacocks won their first-ever MAAC Soccer Championship and moved on to the NCAA Tournament, where the team defeated Brown in the first round before falling to Michigan in the second.

“It means a lot to come back and see my teammates after 20 years or so,” said Matthew Anderson ’91, a member of the 1990-91 men’s basketball team, which was celebrating the 20th anniversary of winning its first MAAC Basketball Championship and its first trip to the NCAA Tournament. “It is such an honor and I have such a healthy appreciation for Saint Peter’s College itself. I am very proud of being a graduate from here.”

Following the game, the official Hall of Fame Dinner took place, where inductees addressed guests and had the opportunity to mingle with former teammates.

“I would like to thank the Jesuits and Saint Peter’s College for recognizing the importance of athletics for women in an educational environment and for opening your doors and your hearts to a generation of women for others,” said Joan (Black) Bellotti ’69, one of the charter members of the women’s basketball team and one of the first team captains.

Only two home games remain on the men’s basketball schedule. Check out the Peacocks in action on Sunday, February 13, when they take on the Stags of Fairfield University, the top team in the conference, and on Friday, February 25, when they play host to the Iona Gaels, another top contender. Purchase tickets for both games at the combined price of $12.00 for adults and $8.00 for children and seniors. Please contact Maryann Bruno at (201) 761-7304 or to purchase tickets.