Daryl Costa had a certain school in mind when he was deciding where he wanted to play basketball in college.
The school interested him, but he wasn’t sure about it yet. He spoke to his friend, a freshman football player on the school’s football team, Jermaine Monterio, about the college.
“If you’re trying to become the best at what you do, come here,” Monterio told Costa. “I love this place. It would be the greatest decision you ever make in your life.”
He was talking about Springfield College.
“Right after that I thought ‘No one says something like that about a school unless it’s actually something great’,’” said Costa. “That is when I decided to follow through.”
Costa is a 6’ 0” shooting guard from Cumberland, RI and he is expected to be one of the newest members of the Springfield College men’s basketball team next winter.
He averaged 11.6 points per-game last season for La Salle Academy in Providence, RI. Ninety-nine of his 256 total points came from behind the arc; which is something the coaching staff at Springfield liked to see.
“[The coaches] liked that I can shoot the ball,” said Costa. “That is one of the biggest things. They [also] said that I’m a smart and mature player.”
Something Costa likes about the program is the fact that not only was it extremely successful last year (made first run to the national semifinals in program history in 2018), but that it looks like the team is set to play at a high level for years to come.
“I saw that [Springfield] was a Final Four program and it looked like [it] wasn’t just going to go down,” said Costa. “It looked like Springfield could be something for a while.”
But, before Costa settled on Springfield, he wasn’t entirely sure what he was going to do after his time at La Salle Academy was through.
One day in the fall, Costa’s football coach at La Salle Academy, Geoff Marcone, approached him and asked him what his plans were after high school. Costa expressed that he was interested in prep school, but he wasn’t sure yet. Marcone then asked him what he was interested in studying in college; Costa said that anything involved in athletics was good with him.
“Immediately, being a Springfield guy, I said ‘There is a lot of stuff you can do sports management degree [from Springfield College],” said Marcone. “I offered to make a couple of phone calls for him and get something going. I called a couple of guys that are college coaches now that are Springfield guys, and now i guess the rest is history.”
Marcone, undergraduate class of ‘97, served as an assistant coach for the Springfield College football team while he pursued a Masters degree in Education from 1998 to 2000 at Springfield College.
Due to his history with the institution, Marcone understands what kind of person the college looks for; he believes that Costa is a great fit.
“I’m very selective on who I think Springfield is a good fit for because I had such a great experience there,” said Marcone. “It is a place I hold very close to my heart. When you want someone to go there you want it to be someone that is going to represent the school well and represent it in a positive way, and I think he [Daryl] will do that.”
The type of teammate that Costa was on the Ram’s football team last season exemplifies exactly why Marcone feels this way.
Coming into last fall, Costa had never played a snap of organized football. After some convincing, Marcone got him to join the team. As a senior first-year player, he didn’t get a lot of time on the field, but the way that he conducted himself off the field and on the sideline spoke volumes to his character.
“He was one of the best teammates on the team,” said Marcone. “He brought so much positive energy at practice and to games. He was the first guy to congratulate a guy when they scored a touchdown. He is a team kid.”
In the final game of the season, Marcone made sure that that Costa at least got a reception; he ended up getting that reception, and taking it in all the way for a touchdown.
“The kids on the sideline went coo-coo for him,” said Marcone. “They were so happy for him. He only played one year but he was so positive and was a good teammate. The whole sideline erupted; it was such a great moment for him.”
Looking forward, don’t be surprised if Costa has a couple more great moments, but on the hardwood in Blake Arena, the next few seasons for the Pride.