- Cam Vedovelli and Julie Bahati Receive Top Honors -
SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced the recipients of the 12th annual Western Massachusetts Player of the Year awards – Cam Vedovelli of Pope Francis Preparatory School and Julie Bahati of Springfield Central High School.
“Once again, we commend the outstanding seniors who were selected as Western Mass. All-Stars, and extend our congratulations to Cam and Julie on their Player of the Year honors,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “We have the utmost confidence that each of these exceptional young athletes will make Western Mass proud as they continue their basketball and academic journeys.”
Vedovelli, a four-year starter for the Pope Francis varsity team, finishes his career with 1,138 points, scoring his 1,000th point on January 17, 2023, in a 67-50 win over Agawam High School. He was twice selected First Team All-Western Mass (2021, 2022) as well as All-Western Mass Honorable Mention in 2020. Vedovelli was named as a 2022 Boys Super 7 candidate, which recognizes the seven best boys’ basketball players in Western Mass, regardless of division. As captain this year, Vedovelli led his team to a 19-4 record, averaging 20 points and 8 rebounds per game, winning the Class A Western Massachusetts Championship, and advancing to the round of 16 in the Massachusetts Division II State Tournament. Vedovelli plans to play college basketball next year. After being accepted into several schools he is currently deciding where he will continue his education and basketball career.
As a four-year member of the Springfield Central varsity team, Bahati totaled 760 career points. During her senior year, she was nominated for Gatorade Player of the Year and the McDonald’s All-American Game. In the 2021-22 season, Bahati helped the Golden Eagles to a Division 1 State Championship title and earned an All-State Honorable Mention. She also won the 2022 Vi Goodnow Award for the most outstanding high school girls basketball player in the region. Bahati is a three-time Valley League and Western Mass Champion (2020-22) and has been named First Team All-Western Mass three times (2020-’22). After receiving 16 NCAA Division I scholarship offers to play basketball, Bahati will continue her basketball career at St. John’s University.
The Western Mass Players of the Year will receive their awards during halftime of their respective game at the Western Massachusetts All-Star Game on Friday, March 24, on the Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. The first game of the evening will feature the Class C and D boys’ teams at 5:30 p.m., followed by the girls’ matchup at 7:00 p.m. The final game of the evening will showcase the Class A and B boys’ teams at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets for the All-Star Games will be available at the Hall of Fame box office the night of the event and will be good for all three games that evening (Adults: $15, Students, $10). Advance tickets are available online here.
About the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving, and celebrating the game of basketball at every level – men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame Museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame Museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo "Court of Dreams." Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame also operates over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame organization, its museum, and events, visit hoophall.com, follow @hoophall or call 1-877-4HOOPLA.