The Eagle Eye

Filed under Feature, Showcase

Teammate of all times

Michael Pellizzon, Class of 2005, leaves his mark on the basketball program and the lives of others.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Consciously or subconsciously, memories of the past motivate us in the present.

Basketball season has once again descended upon the SMCHS community, and there is no doubt that the memory of last year’s CIF Championship victory has left the varsity basketball team (and the Eagle’s Nest student section) hungry for another CIF title.

Known for his big heart, alumnus Michael Pellizzon left a big impression on SMCHS and the basketball program after his passing.

courtesy photo
Known for his big heart, alumnus Michael Pellizzon left a big impression on SMCHS and the basketball program after his passing.

However, it is not only victory and success that promote positive action on and off the court. Oftentimes, the memory of a certain person has the power to positively impact a community or program in a way that a championship win never could.

Michael Pellizzon, Class of 2005, has left a lasting impact on the basketball program and the lives of those he knew during his all-too-short life. During his time at SMCHS, he played football as a freshman and basketball for all four years as a point guard, and was a member of the 2004-2005 basketball CIF Championship team as a senior. He was also an avid UCLA Bruins and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

Aside from his love of sports, Michael had an immense aptitude and passion for music and guitar (mostly self-taught), a thirst for knowledge regarding all things associated with business and the stock market, a great enthusiasm for travel, and a compassionate, funny and outgoing personality that his friends, family and teammates admired and now miss immensely.

“He was a beautiful soul with a huge compassionate heart who had a very positive impact on his family and friends,” said Jerry Pellizzon, father of Michael Pellizzon. “He had a lot of friends and always reached out for people.”

Upon his tragic passing in April 2013, Michael’s family decided to commemorate and honor Michael’s life by developing the Teammate of the Year Award to be given annually to a varsity basketball teammate who best exemplifies the characteristics of Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, which is essentially a blueprint for how to lead a life of excellence (http://www.coachwooden.com/pyramid-of-success). John Wooden, the former UCLA men’s basketball coach, is today known as the greatest coach who ever lived, and has been a profound, inspirational mentor to Jerry Pellizzon.

The recipient for the Teammate of the Year Award is selected by the boys’ varsity basketball head coach, Coach Reinert. The recipient receives a trophy and a $2,000 contribution in the recipient’s and Michael’s name is made to a non-profit charity of the recipient’s choice.

“My wife and I received a handwritten sympathy letter a few weeks after Michael passed away from Chris Devitt, one of his former teammates and friends at SMCHS,” Jerry Pellizzon said. “Chris described Michael as someone who had motivated him during practice and games to do his best, that Michael had a unique ability to make those around him feel better about themselves and that Michael was a great kid and teammate. Those words gave me the idea to put together an award in Michael’s honor that would be called the Eagle Spirit-Teammate of the Year Award.”

The Eagle Spirit Award is one means of honoring Michael Pellizzon's memory by honoring those with the core values he exemplified.

courtesy photo
The Eagle Spirit Award is one means of honoring Michael Pellizzon’s memory by honoring those with the core values he exemplified.

The memory of Michael’s positive attitude and passion for life continue to impact the hearts and minds of those whom he touched personally during his life. The stamp Michael left on the basketball program and the Eagle Spirit-Teammate of the Year Award serve as reminders to all that striving to achieve personal principles of character, leadership, kindness and sportsmanship is a victory in itself.

Note: Michael passed away from a little-known but documented interaction of over-the-counter medicines for cold/throat illnesses and a prescription medication. His prolonged use of common over the counter (OTC) medications combined with a prescription medication resulted in a combination which over time chemically behaved differently than intended, causing him to go into a deep sleep from which he never awoke. Please be careful and follow the directions on the label when you are taking OTC medicines with prescriptions.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Teammate of all times

    Feature

    Belong at Solano

  • Teammate of all times

    Arts & Entertainment

    Soaring of the nest

  • Teammate of all times

    Feature

    In the shadows of Trabuco Creek Road

  • Teammate of all times

    Arts & Entertainment

    Eagles’ varsity song initiates Varsity Spirit’s #AcrossTheField campaign

  • Teammate of all times

    Arts & Entertainment

    Creativity of a Potter

  • Teammate of all times

    Arts & Entertainment

    Celebrity look alikes at Santa Margarita

  • Teammate of all times

    Feature

    Eagles water polo soars to new heights

  • Teammate of all times

    Feature

    Sports medicine 101

  • Teammate of all times

    Feature

    Father daughter social

  • Teammate of all times

    Feature

    Traveling to teaching