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Capellino signs with Gators

STHS star to play at S.F. State

By Steve Yingling

Tribune sports editor

All that was necessary to sell Vince Capellino on San Francisco State University was seeing one of the Gators’ basketball games.

“Just how hard they worked and how fast-paced it was, it intrigued me,” said the South Tahoe High senior forward. “I always wanted to play college basketball ever since I was young, so it’s going to be fun experience for me.”

The 6-foot-6 Capellino signed a letter of intent to attend San Francisco State earlier this week.

“They were always in contact with me since they started recruiting me last summer,” Capellino said. “They are a really good school, and it’s pretty close to home so my family can watch.”

Capellino averaged 17.4 points per game and nearly led the Vikings to an unexpected regional tournament berth. He was selected to the All-Sierra Nevada boys’ basketball team by representatives of Sierra Nevada Media Group newspapers, and Northern 4A League coaches chose him to the Sierra Division second team.

“He one of those players who is going to surprise any coach that he gets to play for,” said STHS coach Chris Proctor. “He’s going to do anything they ask.”

Proctor said Capellino’s 38-point game at the Atwater tournament last year reflected his star player’s character.

“He had just scored 38 points, and he wanted to know if his defense had improved,” Proctor said. “He’s always trying to make himself better.”

Proctor said Capellino could have scored more points as a senior, but it wasn’t his style.

“He wouldn’t shoot enough,” Proctor said. “He was so unselfish. He’d pass up shots and end up making really good passes.”

The Gators finished with a 17-12 overall record last season and tied for third place in the NCAA Division II California Collegiate Athletic Association (11-9). The Gators were led by Bill Tressler, last season’s CCAA Coach of the Year.

The college basketball environment will only make Capellino better, Proctor predicts.

“He’s a raw talent that will probably respond well to that level of coaching, training and conditioning,” he said.

Capellino sees himself as a small forward, but believes he can be used as a guard as well.

“If I get my jumper a lot better, I can see myself playing two-guard,” he said.


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