New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)
Reilly returns to state to play for Sacred Heart
Joey Reilly, the former standout guard from East Catholic High, has returned to his home state to play college basketball at Sacred Heart University this season.
Reilly, a junior, transferred to Sacred Heart from Holy Cross in late May. Reilly played in parts of 20 games over two seasons, including just three last seasons (in a 16-game season) for the Crusaders.
“We recruited him out of high school, said Sacred Heart men’s basketball coach Anthony Latina, now entering his ninth season as head coach.
“He’s been doing great and we are happy for him. Obviously, he is someone we think can help us, period.”
Reilly said Sacred Heart began recruiting him in his freshman year at East Catholic.
“I’m just glad I can be in a place where I feel that I can get an opportunity to contribute,” Reilly said. “I’ve started building those relationships with teammates and coaches. I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter and to be a part of a really good team.”
Latina is very close with the Reilly family. Joe Reilly, Joey’s father, is the men’s coach at Wesleyan. Latina played with Luke Reilly, Joey’s coach at East Catholic, at South Catholic, part of the last graduating class and state championship in 1991. Latina is the godfather of Luke’s oldest son, Luke Jr.
“Obviously there is that family connection,” Reilly said. “Sacred Heart was a place early on in the recruiting process that I felt comfortable with.”
Reilly, a 6-foot, 170pound guard, averaged 21 points, six assists and five rebounds per game for the Eagles during his 2018-19 senior season. He was a New Haven Register/GameTimeCT all-state selection.
“The comfort level is there, the timing was right and we know what Joey is all about,” Latina said. “The best relationships are ones that are mutually beneficial and this falls in that category.”
Reilly helped East Catholic win the Division I state championship that season over Windsor. The Eagles finished No. 1 in the final GameTineCT Top 10 poll. He is East Catholic’s all-time leading scorer with 1,828 points and had a career record of 104-7.
Reilly, 20, is majoring in management and plans to go into college coaching when his playing days are complete.
Reilly, who lives in Cromwell, joins brothers Tyler and Tanner Thomas as state players on the Pioneers’ roster. Tyler Thomas, who played at Amity in Woodbridge, led the Northeast Conference in scoring last season at 19.1 per game.
“Tyler has a chance to be the best player we have ever had here,” said Latina, who was an assistant for eight seasons before becoming head coach.