June 25, 2024


Two-time national championship winning coach Rick Pitino is doing everything in his power to right the ship at St. John’s University while simultaneously bringing some attention to the basketball program.

One way to do that is by inviting an NFL player who has burst on to the scene — quarterback Tommy DeVito.

Pitino told the New York Giants quarterback that he could come to Madison Square Garden and sit courtside to take in an upcoming Red Storm basketball game. St. John’s hosts Fordham this weekend.

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Rick Pitino attends a Knicks game

St. John’s mens basketball coach Rick Pitino attends Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs between the New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden on April 23, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

DeVito plays his home games just on the other side of the Hudson River. The Giants also train in East Rutherford, so DeVito would have a relatively short commute to Manhattan should he decide to take Pitino up on his offer.

“Hey @tommydevito007 – we need some Italian luck in the Garden this Saturday!! Courtside seats are yours,” Pitino wrote on X Tuesday.

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DeVito has become one of the most intriguing stories in the league. The rookie sensation has led the Giants to three consecutive wins since he stepped in place of an injured Daniel Jones.

Tommy DeVito warms up

Tommy DeVito, #15 of the New York Giants, warms up prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 11, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Elsewhere, DeVito’s agent, Sean Stellato, took exception to him being linked to the nickname “Slimy.”

During Peyton and Eli Manning’s “ManningCast,” the former Giants signal-caller said Stellato went by the nickname “Slimy” in college.

“Sean ‘Slimy’ Stellato,” Manning said on the broadcast. “I got some inside intel from some of my boys. That was the nickname in college. Slimy. Thank you for that information. Great research.”

Tommy DeVito stands on the field

Tommy DeVito, #15 of the New York Giants, stands on the field prior to the start of the game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Stellato called into WFAN’s “Boomer and Gio” show Tuesday morning after the Giants’ win over the Green Bay Packers in which DeVito led a game-winning drive for a field goal for a 24-22 victory. Stellato disputed Manning’s nickname claim. 

“I don’t understand where ‘Slimy’ comes from,” he said.

Pitino is in his first year with St. John’s, and the team has gotten off to a 6-3 start. Pitino got his first college basketball head coaching job in the late 1970s. 

He has also had a stint as the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics head coach. He won national titles at Kentucky and Louisville, with the most recent championship coming in 2013.

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The Giants travel to New Orleans this weekend for a matchup with the Saints.

Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.



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