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Time Out With … : Particelli takes over Saints' boys hoop helm

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Giules Particelli

St. Helena High graduate Giuliano “Giules” Particelli has taken over for Jim Gamble as head coach of Saints boys basketball.

Justin-Siena graduate Giuliano “Giules” Particelli has taken over for Jim Gamble as head coach of Saints boys basketball.

Whitt: Head coach of the varsity boys basketball team at St. Helena High School. When I say that, how does that strike you?

Particelli: It feels great, yeah. I don’t know if it’s really hit me yet because it’s offseason, but I’m very excited. A part of me has always wanted to be at St. Helena High School coaching basketball.

Whitt: Your dad (Ray Particelli) had two stints as head coach of varsity boys basketball team at St. Helena. Do you have a first memory as a little kid of watching your dad coach?

Particelli: I have vivid memories of being in the coaches’ office, which is now the (athletic director’s), I believe. … I have a lot of memories being in there, and just going through all the different sports equipment and hanging out with my dad in there, listening to him talk about basketball, and hanging out with all the coaches and all the players. I remember when Coach Andy (Viera, varsity assistant coach) played.

Whitt: How would you describe your relationship with the sport of basketball?

Particelli: Probably “deep” is the word I would use to describe it. When I think of my childhood, the very beginning of my childhood, I think of basketball, and I think of being in that gym, shooting, dribbling a basketball. I definitely couldn’t shoot at that point (smiling), but rolling a basketball around and hanging out with those guys. Yeah, I think it’s just deep, very deep, deep rooted.

Whitt: Could you play defense then?

Particelli: No. Probably not. (smiling). But I was thinking about it (laughing).

Whitt: What kind of culture and environment do you want to create for St. Helena High boys basketball, not only on the varsity team but permeating down to the JV level as well?

Particelli: I think I just would like it to be known as a culture that takes basketball seriously and is about the business – about the culture of basketball, which we do not have here. I would like the kids to get excited about playing – not just during games but at practice, competing against each other and making each other better. It’s hard to get the kids to want to come to practice. I’d like to change that, and I think I could.

Whitt: You have coached before (as JV boys head coach at Justin-Siena and St. Helena), but this is your first time as a varsity head coach. Now you’re more settled. You’re married, you are working in your family’s business, so you are in a different place in your life. Does it change your perspective on the coaching position?

Particelli: With time, I think, perspective always changes. Maybe not always, but maybe it should always change. I understand the importance of maybe the bigger picture a little bit more … I don’t know. I’m very excited since I got back into coaching last year. My passion for it is very big and I’m very excited. And I’m always trying to talk to my kids and communicate with everybody. Communication is a key aspect of trying to get everybody on the same page. But I understand, probably more so now, the benefits and I appreciate communication much more than I did when I first started when I was 19. So that’s probably one thing. But my style (of coaching) has always been the same. I think what you need to do is see what kind of players you have and who they are individually and be able to reach them in their special type of way – their learning style, if you will.

Whitt: So, to that end, what do you want a kid to take away from his experience with you as his coach?

Particelli: I would like a player to, one, be better than they were not only on the court but off the court as a person. As a player, I would like them to improve on their skills and fundamentals, but also on their life skills and their life fundamentals. We know as adults that sports can only last so long and they are a great base for life and for teamwork and working and being in high-stress situations. So, I think sports definitely lend themselves to real-life situations after school.

Whitt: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learedn from your wife, Megan?

Particelli: Patience (smiling). Patience. Definitely patience. She’s very patient and I appreciate that. If I could, I would be in the gym many hours of the day. I do as much as I can, and she’s very patient with me and understanding.

Whitt: If you had a chance to meet a famous person, who would it be and why?

Particelli: I’d say Michael Jordan because he’s the G.O.A.T. (laughs).

Whitt: If you could talk to him, what question you would like to ask him?

Particelli: I’d like to ask Michael Jordan what one thing was that he didn’t accomplish that he really wishes he did. It doesn’t need to be a basketball thing. It could be anything in life.

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