CCRI’s longtime equipment manager, Billy Giusti, received a prestigious honor this month, being inducted into the West Warwick Athletics Hall of Fame. Giusti, who’s worked as the Knights’ equipment manager for nearly 35 years, proved to be quite the athlete himself as a Wizard at West Warwick High School.
Giusti was a standout athlete, starring in both basketball and baseball. He was an All-Division selection in basketball and led the state in free-throw percentage during his senior season.
As a three-year varsity baseball player, Giusti batted over .300 each season, was tabbed an All-Division selection, and was invited to try out for the Yankees following his senior season.
After his high school graduation, Giusti began playing in the Kent County Basketball League for the West Warwick Elks, where he led the league in scoring two seasons in a row and still holds the record till this day for points in a game with 44—all two-pointers at the time.
However, Giusti isn’t just known for his playing abilities, coaching C.Y.O. basketball for 12 seasons—Sacred Heart Parish (three seasons), and St. Anthony’s Parish (nine seasons)—winning league championships for the boys Intermediate Division in 1964 and 1975. For his outstanding service and dedication, Giusti was labeled C.Y.O. Man of the Year in 1979. Giusti was overwhelmed by the turnout at his induction ceremony, expressing his appreciation for everyone who attended that he worked with over the years.
“I find it to be quite an honor because West Warwick has had a lot of great athletes,” Giusti said. “To be recognized by them, unexpectedly, was awesome. All in all, I was very surprised and honored. I’ve always been proud to call myself a West Warwick Wizard.”
Deservedly so, Giusti has become accustomed to prestigious awards, however, noting that his favorite memory in his tenure at CCRI was receiving the ‘Green Jacket,’ which is presented to select individuals for distinguished and long-term service to the school. There have only been a hand full of these jackets handed out, and Giusti was the last individual to receive one on January 14, 2005.
Giusti claims that there’s no better place to work in New England than right here at CCRI. “I’m working with the best people in the state,” Giusti said. “I could’ve gone elsewhere at times and I was offered other positions, but I wouldn’t leave CCRI. It’s been a second home to me.”
The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 18,000 students in credit courses and thousands more in non-credit and job training classes. Its athletic program boasts 12 varsity programs and an academic support program for all student-athletes.