Chris Ciaccio honored with retirement of No. 12

GLOVERSVILLE – Former Gloversville basketball standout Chris Ciaccio said if you could survive the Dragons’ practice scrimmages, you could survive anything.

He, and his Dragon teammates, did.

With Ciaccio leading the way, Gloversville compiled an 83-14 record in his four-year varsity career, won four-straight Foothills Council titles, two sectional and regional championships, and made two trips to the NYSPHSAA State Final Four. Along the way, the 1990 Gloversville graduate poured in 2,373 points.

In his honor, the Dragons retired Ciaccio’s No. 12 uniform during a ceremony Sunday afternoon in the Gloversville High School gym.

“It obviously will be added to a collection of great moments, great memories and great people,” Ciaccio said of the honor. “As I said before, championship teams are not made with any one individual. We had so many amazing talented individuals and we all played a part.”

Ciaccio reflected on his playing days in the old gym at Gloversville High School, which was smaller, louder and hotter than the new one where the banner in his honor will hang.

“There is something to be said about that, though,” he said. “People thought twice about coming here to face us because they knew they were not only going to play a tough team, but they had to contend with a strong fan base. We used to look forward to playing here at home. We always got great support, and that flowed down from the stands onto the court.”

When Ciaccio broke Tony Traver’s Section II scoring record of 2,189 points in 1990, he was on hand to congratulate him. It was not the last time the two standouts would meet.

“I actually have a good relationship with Coach Traver,” Ciaccio said. “When I went to William and Mary, he was my coach. So I got to know him well. He was always busting my chops that there was no 3-point line when he played, and if there was, I probably would never have broke it.”

The record fell again in 2006 when Jimmer Fredette finished his career at Glens Falls with 2,404 points.

“I am OK with it,” Ciaccio said. “The fact that Jimmer broke my record and went on to become a Neismith Award winner and play in the NBA … I am feeling pretty good about myself that I am in that company.”

Ciaccio, who was inducted into the Capital Region Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, took time to thank everybody involved in his career, including his coaches, teammates and especially his family.

“I am appreciative to everybody who has been a part of my basketball-playing life,” he said. “The early days with Barry Greenough and then turning it over to coach [Don] Landrio and then guys like Jim Robare, Matt Goodemote and Danny Getman. We played our entire life together in Gloversville and we made a lot of great memories together. If you could survive our basketball practice scrimmages, you could survive anything.”