Men's Basketball

#BethelPilotTop10 – 7. Jerome Calderone

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The seventh-ranked player on our list passed along a great tradition to those who came after him. He was really good at passing.
Jerome Calderone is the all-time leader in assists at Bethel.
Jerome Calderone is the all-time leader in assists at Bethel.
Jerome Calderone is the all-time leader in assists at Bethel - with 257 more than the next player. It is safe to say that no Pilot has ever played the game quite like him. He came in as a freshman in the 1983-1984 season and averaged 11.4 points and 6.8 assists per game - both freshman records. By his sophomore season, he was ready to break school records. During that year, he set school records for assists in a season (322) and assists average (9.2) which both still stand to this day. Calderone is fifth on the all-time scoring list with 2,227 career points and the only player in school history with over 1,000 career assists (1,027). He has an astounding 7.8 assist average for his career as well as a career 2.68 assist-to-turnover ratio that are both school records. Calderone was also a precise shooter with a career free throw percentage of 84.7 - fourth all-time. But even after all those accomplishments, there was still one thing missing from Calderone's resume - a national tournament appearance. At the end of his senior year, the Pilots were facing Grand Rapids Baptist with a chance to make it to the NCCAA National Tournament. Calderone scored a career-high 37 points and hit two free throws in the final minute to take the Pilots to the promised land. That year, he was also named team MVP. One of Calderone's greatest influences on the program didn't even happen on the basketball court. Before coming to Bethel, Calderone had played for Mike Lightfoot at Marian High School in Mishawaka. Calderone then graduated from Bethel in 1987 and paved the way for Lightfoot to coach at Bethel later that year. Calderone is one of five players whose jersey is retired at Bethel, and his storied career was punctuated in 2003 when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Calderone was ranked in the top ten of our experts' voting, and he placed near the top in statistics. Those two categories vaulted him to the #7 position on our list. The top ten was created by combining expert picks, statistics, championships and awards won, as well as the voting on Twitter. Some players may have been rated high by experts but did not receive as many votes as others. Others may have received votes but their statistics did not matchup against others. The top ten is comprised of the ten players who scored the best across all categories. To see the voting, visit the #BethelPilotTop10 page on the Beacon's homepage.        
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