Johnston standout basketball player Derek Salvatore made his college decision official, committing to play for Division III St. Joseph’s in Maine.
Salvatore has been one of the Panthers’ most productive players since his freshman year and was key in getting the Panthers back to the playoffs last winter. His performance earned him a spot on the Division II Second Team.
Salvatore was happy to make his decision final and was impressed with the campus at St. Joe’s.
“It’s exciting, I was choosing between two different schools so to make the decision is relieving. I really wanted to get it out of the way before my high school season started, I wanted to be able to enjoy my senior season,” said Salvatore. “One of the factors is that I want to be a phys. ed. teacher and they have a really good physical education program. I also liked the coach and got along with the team. It’s a small campus that I feel fits me very well.”
When visiting the campus, Salvatore had an opportunity to talk hoops with St. Joe’s coach Tyler Ackley. Ackley was excited to have him on board and expects Salvatore to be a seamless fit when he arrives next winter.
“Another reason why I chose St. Joe’s was that I talked to Coach Ackley and he explained what their offense was like, and it is very similar to what my high school team and AAU team do. He thought that I would be a perfect fit since I already know their offensive schemes,” Salvatore said.
In the next year, Salvatore will be focusing on the pace of play on the court.
“The biggest difference will be that college is played at a quicker pace than Rhode Island Division II basketball. I think that I will be able to adjust to it because I have been playing on my AAU team which competes at a competitive level,” said Salvatore.
With his final high school season set to tip off in a couple weeks, Salvatore hopes that he and the Panthers will make one last run at a title.
“I can’t wait for this season. Me, my teammates, my coaches, we have been looking forward to it since last year ended,” Salvatore said. “We have a good team and our goal is to win the Division II championship. We’ll take it one game at a time, but we’re looking forward to it. I’m also really thankful for my AAU coach Kyle VanRossum of BCRI and my high school coaches Mike Bedrosian, Mark Livingston and Ed Bedrosian.”