PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 10-year-old member of Nova Nation had high hopes of getting his basketball signed by a member of the Wildcats during the championship parade in the heart of the Philadelphia on Thursday.
Waiting front and center, along the parade route on 20th and Market Streets with his family members to cheer on the Wildcats, Owen Smargiassi got the assistance from Eyewitness News as his dream was realized.
Owen, a Marlton, New Jersey native, is the grandson of a Villanova alum, so Nova Nation blue and white runs in his blood.
Jay Wright, the team’s coach, signed the ball while excitedly explaining his role in guiding the Wildcats.
“That’s what we take pride in at Villanova. We love winning a championship, but try to teach these guys that it’s not all about them,” said Wright.
It’s not all about winning for Wright though, even if he’s unarguably one of the better college basketball coaches in the nation right now.
“It’s about being a part of something bigger than yourself, it’s about being a role model. And I think that our guys really take pride in that. They’re not perfect; they’re still 18 and 22-year-olds, but they really try to do the right thing. And, I’m glad the young people look up to them,” he said.
When asked where he was going to put his signed basketball, Owen said, “in the basement where everyone can see it where everyone can see it!”
Fans of all ages to joined the rally at Dilworth Plaza in Center City, celebrating the Wildcats taking home their second NCAA championship in only three years on Monday night.