Giordano tribute complete

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 9, 2010



RESERVE – On Tuesday night, there was nothing left to battle over, nothing pending, nothing to wait and see on.

On Tuesday night, it was for real.

The “it” in question was the dedication of the East St. John High School gym in the name of Troy C. Giordano, the late coach of the girls basketball team whose life was cut short in a Kenner automobile accident in May.

“His memory will live on forever,” said ESJ Athletic Director Larry Dauterive to a cheering mass in attendance, as a banner bearing the building’s new name – the Coach Troy C. Giordano Memorial Gym – was unveiled before the Ladycats’ game with South Lafourche.

Giordano’s father, Wayne, stood watching proudly, taking in the moment first with his eyes, then with his camera.

“It’s a late Christmas present, but it’s a great Christmas present,” he said. “It’s really, really good to know that all of Troy’s hard work did not go unappreciated or unnoticed.”

The dedication was originally scheduled to take place about a month ago before the Ladycats’ game with Thibodaux.

But the dedication was protested at the school board meeting in the days leading up to the event, and the decision was tabled for further review.

Instead, the school held a ceremony in Giordano’s honor but did not unveil the new banner.

The matter was settled at the following school board meeting, and the event was officially set for Tuesday.

“It’s absolutely overwhelming,” said Heather Giordano, Troy Giordano’s widow. “It’s just really such an honor for our family, for Troy … and most importantly, it’s great for the girls on the team. They wanted to honor him.”

The dedication began with Dauterive listing Giordano’s numerous accomplishments at the school – including a staggering 92-game home winning streak, a string of eight consecutive district championships (including the school’s first), most wins in a single season (40) and piloting the first appearance in a state championship game by not only ESJ but any team in the River Region.

Dauterive presented a plaque with Coach Giordano’s picture and accomplishments engraved upon it to each of Giordano’s sons, Mako and Montana.

Heather Giordano said hearing all of her husband’s accomplishments at one time in that manner was a tremendous feeling, especially because she knew how much work he put in to make them a reality.

“Being with him for 22 years, I’ve watched all of the hard work behind it. It’s what he stood for, to help his girls learn about life and discipline.

“I hope they take that lesson away from this. That you can accomplish great things but only when you put the work behind it.”