There’s no better way to tell you how it all got started than to talk about the life and legacy of PGC’s founder,
the legendary Dick DeVenzio.

As a high school and college player (at Duke University), Dick was regarded as the prototypical “coach on the court.” In 10th grade, he was a varsity starter, averaging 20 points a game (even though he was only 5’6″ tall). The next year Dick grew to 5’9” and averaged 30 points per game, and, in his senior year, he led Ambridge High School to an undefeated state championship. That team is still recognized as the best high school team ever to play in Pennsylvania. Dick was named as the best high-school point guard in America by Parade Magazine and went on to earn Academic All-American and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) all-star honors at Duke and to play and coach professionally in Europe and South America.

An English major and lover of literature, Dick authored five books during his lifetime—including STUFF! Good Players Should Know, praised as “the ultimate guide to playing the game the right way” by Larry Brown, the only coach ever to win both NCAA and NBA championships and a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Basketball Times (in an article published in 2003) said that STUFF is “esteemed by most players and coaches as a sacred text. It is the Rosetta Stone that unlocks the inner workings of how basketball must be played. Dr. James Naismith, as he relaxes alongside the Apostle Peter, is reading a copy of STUFF. It really is heavenly wisdom.”

Considered by many to be a basketball genius and a gifted writer, Dick’s books continue to influence basketball lovers all over the world and have been translated into several foreign languages.

Dick began running his own summer basketball camps as a college student and then continued to offer sessions every summer until his untimely death in 2001 at the age of 52. The program he was most proud of, however, was the nationally acclaimed Point Guard Basketball College. While Dick’s ingenuity, humor, and creativity will always be missed, the ideas and teaching methods that he created remain at the core of the PGC programs.

 

Meet Dena Evans

Dena Evans

After Dick’s passing, his protégé, Dena Evans, picked up the mantle and single-handedly led all of the Point Guard College sessions for the next six years. Dena had been named the Best Point Guard in America as a senior at the University of Virginia, and was later recognized as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Silver Anniversary All-Star team. Geno Auriemma, the Basketball Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach from the University of Connecticut, said, “The first time I saw Dena play, I was amazed at how intelligent she was with and without the ball. Having the skills is one thing, and Dena had them all. But knowing how to use those skills is the key, and that’s what separated Dena from all the rest.”

After taking over for Dick DeVenzio, Dena traveled the length and breadth of the United States, presenting 13 or more Point Guard College programs each summer. In her teaching, Dena remained faithful to the legacy that she had inherited from Coach DeVenzio, continuing to present the principles that she had learned from her mentor.

Lindell Singleton, a former Texas high-school coach of the year, attended several Point Guard College sessions, and said,

I never met Dick DeVenzio in person, but I feel like I know him through his writings. I honor him because of his commitment to the game. He’s smiling now, knowing that his protégé, Dena Evans, is keeping the fire burning.

Meet Mano Watsa

Mano Watsa

By 2007, the demand for learning “The PGC Way” had grown to the point where Dena could no longer do it all on her own. She recruited another Dick DeVenzio protégé, Mano Watsa, to come on board. Mano had been named a two-time All-Canadian at the University of Waterloo, earned Academic All-Canadian honors, and capped off his career with his selection as the recipient of The Sports Network (TSN—Canada’s equivalent of ESPN) National Award in 1998 for combining excellence in athletics, academics, and community service.

Mano, who now serves as PGC’s president, was also mentored by Dick and, like Dena, is fully committed to carrying out Dick’s dedication to excellence and the championship principles that Coach DeVenzio taught.

In the 20 years since Dick DeVenzio started Point Guard Basketball College, many things have changed. Point Guard College is now known as PGC Basketball, and there are a team of accomplished teachers leading eight (8) different PGC basketball courses in over 30 states and three (3) Canadian provinces. However, under the leadership of Dena Evans and Mano Watsa, the heart of Dick’s legacy is alive and well at PGC, and still remains—and will always remain—the same.