Capellino goes big senior night |

Capellino goes big senior night

Becky Regan
01/12/2013 -- NCAA Men's Basketball -- No. 9 Cal Poly Pomona Broncos defeat Cal State East Bay Pioneers 58-51 at Pioneer Gym in Hayward, Calif.
Michael Chen/KLCFotos |

It was likely the final game of his basketball career, and Vince Capellino was playing to remember.

The former Viking tore up the East Bay court last week with a career-high 23 points. The win against Cal State Stanislaus (10-16, 7-15) would have been nice, but Capellino dominated the floor and closed his Cal State East Bay (7-19, 6-16) career on a good note.

“All my shots were going in and I felt like I was on a role, but I didn’t even know I had that many until I found out from my teammate after the game,” Capellino said. “I thought 15 points maybe.”

The senior forward contributed 187 points for East Bay this season, and shot 66 percent from the free throw line. His final performance eclipsed it all though. Capellino destroyed his previous career-high of 15 points.

“It certainly was nice seeing Vince compete at such a high level last week. He has worked very hard and I hope he feels it was all worth it,” said East Bay coach Will Biggs. “His path was not an easy one with stops at San Francisco State and College of the Redwoods.”

After graduating from South Tahoe High School in 2008, Capellino headed to San Francisco State where he red shirted during his second year. From there it was on to the College of the Redwoods in Eureka, Calif., before he found a home at East Bay.

It was a good fit for Capellino and for coach Biggs.

“Vince brought a consistent work ethic into the gym every day,” East Bay coach Will Biggs said. “He really embraced practice and that is rare these days in so many players who only want to focus when the stands are full.”

Vince was easy to coach, Biggs said. He was the type of player who only needed to be told once.

“For me, Vince represents all that is good at the Division II level. Great student, great teammate, great friend and he always seemed to enjoy being in the gym, which made it easier for me as well,” Biggs said. “Our season did not go as planned but Vince never exhibited a losing attitude and his last weekend as a Pioneer was a microcosm of tremendous dedication and hard work all year.”

The 23 points weren’t a bad way to say goodbye to the East Bay basketball court, but it was the best part of the night.

“Having my parents and two brothers out on the court with me on senior night was what meant the most for me,” Capellino said.

What next for Capellino? He’s looking forward to graduating and applying to physical therapy school. His basketball background should come in handy as he’s helping athletes get back on the court.

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