Saint Mary’s Basketballers Talk Favorite Reads

The Gaels basketball team is often described as tenacious, hard-working and determined. But thanks to the Collegiate Seminar at Saint Mary’s, Gaels hoopsters may also be some of the most well-read.

The Collegiate Seminar is the heart of Saint Mary's core curriculum. It consists of a series of required courses that give every student a firm foundation in the liberal arts. The program comprises four courses that examine major works of Western civilization, including works of literature and philosophy, history and government, and art and science. Learn more.

We asked three Saint Mary’s players about their favorites reads, and some of their answers might surprise you.

Matthew Dellavedova ’13

Guard: First Saint Mary’s men’s basketball player to earn first-team Academic All-America honors; WCC Player of the Year and first-team all-WCC selection; helped lead the Australian Boomers to qualification in the 2012 London Olympics; named to watch list for the Naismith Award; named a Final 5 selection for the Bob Cousy Award, which is given to the nation’s top point guard.

1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

My favorite book series of all time.

2. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Great story mixed in with some interesting facts. Inspired me to try to get into running more and learn more about it. Raises the question, “What if humans were born to run?” and also talks about shoes and what impact they have had on the human body. 

3. The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle, Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin

I put these together because they cover some of the same topics. Talent Is Overrated talks a lot about how there is no such thing as "innate ability" or something you are born with and that everybody can achieve greatness if they do enough of the right kind of practice. The Talent Code talks more about how talent is developed, which is with deep practice, persistence and master coaching.

4. The Prince by Machiavelli

A book about ruling and leadership. I read it in Seminar last semester. It’s interesting to see a person's view of leadership back then.

Mitchell Young ’13

Forward: In his sophomore year, he was the WCC leader in field goal percentage throughout the season and registered 19 double-figure scoring games. 

1. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

My grandfather gave Tuesdays With Morrie to me when I was very young. It contains many valuable life lessons and tells the story of a great man and the impact he made on one of his college students. I try to read this book during or after a significant change in my life because I find new meaning to it every time I read it.

2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

I read this book in my first year of high school. A true classic!

3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

I read this my sophomore year at Saint Mary’s in the third seminar. It was probably the best book of the reading list and stirred up discussion in the classroom. Don Quixote finds happiness in living in his own ridiculous world, proving that everything is relative. 

Stephen Holt ’14

Guard: Honorable mention all-WCC selection; WCC’s leading returner in steals; among the top 10 in career steals at SMC.

1. Inferno by Dante

The imagination and creativity had me hooked from the beginning. The world in which we see Dante travel throughout the book was unique and spiritual. His quest to overcome sin and find God’s love was very interesting.

2. Harry Potter series by J.K Rowlings

I could truly say that I’ve read and seen all of the Harry Potter movies. From the beginning when I was kid to now, I had to either read or see the Harry Potter book/movie that was out that time. Definitely one of my favorite series. 

3. Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson

As a basketball player, this was one of my favorite books to read and I made a lot of connections. This book reveals how Jackson directs his players to act, with a clear mind while respecting the enemy, and be the aggressor without anger or violence. Not to mention stories of the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan.

4. Moneyball by Michael Lewis

This was a great story about the Oakland A’s and their quest for a competitive team by using simple mathematics. It showed me how analytical evidence can speak volumes if it’s used properly. A great read.