John Giannini received his Ph.D. in kinesiology from the University of Illinois in 1992, but the eighth-year La Salle coach believes he has a special mission to serve as an instructor of local hoops history.
From the time they are being recruited, prospective Explorers are made fully aware by Giannini of the school's many basketball successes.
"In the recruiting process, we talk about the La Salle tradition," said Giannini, whose Explorers (21-12) host Minnesota (19-14) at 7 Wednesday night in a first-round NIT game at Tom Gola Arena. "We talk about the NCAA championship , the two Final Fours ['54 and '55], the NIT championship , the three national players of the year [Tom Gola in 1955, Michael Brooks in 1980, and Lionel Simmons in 1990]. We take them through the Palestra, through the Big Five Hall of Fame. We show them all the memorabilia."