“Angel. I like Angel.”
That was Kevin Willard’s response when asked about what he likes about his frontcourt. Safe to say, a lot of Seton Hall faithful are saying the same thing.
In three years as a Pirate, Delgado has emerged as a fan favorite. From his admirable intensity and leadership, to his 1,000-point scoring career, and of course being commonly mentioned as the best rebounder in the country, there’s a lot for Seton Hall to love.
However, Delgado’s illustrious career almost was cut short, with a lot of speculation as to him foregoing his senior year to play professionally. Last spring, Delgado tested the waters of professional play, and it appeared he would take that next step, until advice from coaches and scouts convinced him another year would do him good.
But there was another factor to his decision, Delgado says- the Seton Hall community.
At Big East Media Day, Delgado said that many people came up to him on campus while he considered entering the draft to express their gratitude and tell him they hope he stays for what could be a final year to remember. It appears that contributed to his final decision, as he returns with the same smile that Pirate fans love to see for his senior season.
His relationship with the student body is not anything new. It has been a constant part of his time as a Pirate.
“Angel always makes an effort to go out of his way to talk to whomever,” student manager Nick Romano said. “He has a very good understanding of what basketball means to people at this school, whether it be employees or students.”
One of Delgado’s closest relationships in the student body is sophomore Gregory Lobo, a familiar face around campus who first met Delgado his first weekend at Seton Hall.
“I always enjoy seeing him because he always has something to say,” Lobo said, reminiscing on fun conversations the two have had. “The thing about my relationship with Angel is mutual confidence in one another. He once told me that he would be in the FBI and he would arrest me for hacking a computer because apparently I was smart enough. I tell him, which I believe wholeheartedly, that he will play in the NBA even though he’s not in any of the early mock drafts, which is ridiculous.”
Lobo expounded on his relationship with Delgado, giving his thoughts on Delgado returning for another year.
“When he came back, I was more excited from a personal standpoint than a basketball standpoint,” Lobo said. “While you obviously can’t replace that rebounding production, there are other big guys. Even if you could replace the best big man in the country, you can’t replace Angel Delgado.”
While Delgado feels the love from Seton Hall, the fans are feeling the love back. Delgado mentioned how important the fans are to himself and the team, and wants to give back a year to remember.
“I love the University,” Delgado said. “I think that [coming here] is the best decision I’ve ever made in my whole life. I’m really excited to give them what they deserve, and that’s winning.”
Pirate fans everywhere hope they get those wins from this year’s Seton Hall team. However, win or lose, Delgado’s impact on the Seton Hall community is still admired by many.
“It’s just cool to see the best big man in the country be such a nice person,” Lobo said. “Not just to me, to everyone, and absolutely one of the funniest people I have ever met,”
Keith Egan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Keith_egan10.