The Late Dick DeVenzio
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, 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 long-time NBA coach Larry Brown.
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 PGC.
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.
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 Dick, continuing to present the principles she had learned from her mentor.
Mano Watsa has continued Dick’s legacy since Dena’s retirement, growing PGC from 1,200 to 12,000 players annually.