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Northeastern High grad Antonio Rizzuto announces decision to transfer to Towson University

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
Former Northeastern High guard Antonio Rizzuto announced Sunday he will transfer to Towson University after three seasons at the University at Albany.
  • Antonio Rizzuto announced he will transfer to Towson University next season.
  • Rizzuto was named to the America East All-Conference Team and All-Defensive Team.
  • Former Towson player Four McGlynn helped recruit Rizzuto to the school.

Antonio Rizzuto has found a new home and it’s much closer to his hometown.

The Northeastern High School graduate entered the NCAA transfer portal following his junior season for Division I University at Albany. Sunday, he selected his new school. Rizzuto picked NCAA D-I Towson University based on a number of factors, but proximity was a priority.

After he spent three years five hours away from family and friends, Rizzuto realized during the past year how important being nearby is. His grandfather recently died and the combination of location and his relationship with the head coach made it the right choice.

“If I was going to leave Albany, it needed to be closer to home,” Rizzuto said. “There were a lot of awesome schools that reached out, but I couldn’t continue to talk to them because that’s not what I wanted. I want to be here for my other grandparents. I want to be here for my family and I want to be closer to home through all this. Towson is not only close to home, but a perfect fit for me with everything else.”

Rizzuto comes off his strongest college season, when he was named to the America East All-Conference Team and All-Defensive Team. The 6-foot, 3-inch guard led the Great Danes in scoring, averaging 12.5 points per game.

After a 7-9 overall record, including a 6-6 mark in the America East, Albany and longtime head coach Will Brown parted ways.

While Rizzuto was a junior at Northeastern, he briefly was recruited by Towson, but nothing really came of it. After his junior college season, the pursuit was intense and he appreciated the passion Towson head coach Pat Skerry showed in getting him on campus.

“This time around it was completely different,” Rizzuto said. “They knew they had to get me and they have been awesome. It was way different than any place I have seen in the past and coach Skerry has been awesome. He’s been texting and calling me and my family everyday; there’s a connection there.”

Towson is coming off a 4-14 season, including a 3-9 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Help from McGlynn: With the NCAA recruiting restrictions still in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rizzuto couldn’t take an official visit with the coaches.

Luckily for the Tigers, they have a former player that could show Rizzuto around.

Dallastown High graduate Four McGlynn spent two seasons at Towson before he transferred to NCAA D-I Rhode Island. As someone who transferred into Towson himself, McGlynn took Rizzuto on an unofficial tour. Rizzuto credited McGlynn with helping him make the decision to commit.

“He said going there was one of the biggest steps forward in his career,” Rizzuto said. “He thinks I’m going to have a great career there and he was showing me what there is to do around the area.”

Two years of eligibility left: Rizzuto will have two years of eligibility remaining and can play next season.

He added he intends to pursue a master’s degree in education to eventually become a teacher and possibly coach basketball, if the right opportunity presents itself.

With his time in the transfer portal over, Rizzuto is eager to get started with the Tigers and ready for friends and family to be able to see him play more often.

“It motivates me and puts an even bigger chip on my shoulder,” Rizzuto said. “I’m going to have people watching now and I get to be closer to home. I’m really excited and am definitely going to be better for it.”

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.