CTK basketball coach arrested on drug charges
by Andrew Pavia
Oct 24, 2012 | 9848 views | 1 1 comments | 88 88 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Christ the King girls basketball program has produced the most Olympians in the history of the sport, but right now that's being overshadowed by former assistant coach Joe DeLuca, who was taken into custody earlier this month on drug charges.

On Tuesday, October 2, officers raided DeLuca's home, seizing 30 grams of cocaine, ecstasy pills and marijuana. Officers also confiscated a 12-gauge shotgun.

DeLuca and three others were taken into custody, including Frank Martinez, Hugo Morales and John Cutignola. After the incident became public, the school decided not to renew DeLuca's contract for the 2012-2013 season.

Deluca was arraigned on October 4 and was released without bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, October 25.

DeLuca was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, and endangering the welfare of a 13-year-old daughter of one of the other defendants.

He is also facing charges including knowingly possessing or selling gelatin capsules and glassine envelopes for packaging, possessing scales and balances used for the purpose of weighing or measuring controlled substances, and criminal possession of more than 25 grams of marijuana.

Pat Marino, father of Destiny Marino, a forward for Christ the King's junior varsity basketball team, blamed the coach but said that he was comfortable keeping his daughter in the school and the program.

“She is in a safe environment,” he said. “Everything should go back to normal. It's just one individual, [Christ the King] doesn't have control over what people do outside of the school.”

Marino said he doesn't believe the incident will have an affect on the players.

When asked if Christ the King made the right decision in letting DeLuca go, Marino said, “They had to do what was right for the school. [Christ the King] has to protect the kids.”

With this incident Christ the King will try to rebound from two scandals over the course of just under two years. A former basketball coach for the boys team, Bob Oliva, took a plea deal in April 2011 in which he admitted to sexually abusing a 14-year-old family friend.

Another father of a girls basketball student at Christ the King, who asked not to be identified, said that he has to wait for a verdict. When asked if he thought DeLuca was guilty of the crimes he said he never felt his daughter was “in an unsafe environment.” He called DeLuca a good coach, and said that he is “innocent until proven guilty.”

“How can I speak on the subject when there has been no guilty verdict?” he asked

The principal of Christ the King and the girls junior varsity head coach did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

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Horace Harding
October 25, 2012
Give him a break! He had to supplement that teacher's income somehow!!