The miracle run put together by St. John’s University and its ten recently-graduated seniors has continued to resonate far away from the corner of Union and Utopia.
Yet another integral part of the Johnnies’ return to the NCAA Tournament, after a nine-year hiatus, has become the latest Red Storm player to trade in his red and white for a professional uniform.Just several days after Paris Horne became the first from last year’s graduating class to turn pro when he took his talents to Germany, Dwight Hardy has joined his backcourt partner in the professional ranks.
The Bronx native signed earlier this week with Pistoia Basket, an Italian club located just outside the city of Florence, making the decision with factors other than his own success in mind.
“The first thing I want to do is get my mom out of the projects,” said Hardy, whose mother still calls the South Bronx home. “That’s all I think about when I’m working out or doing anything with basketball, just provide a better life for my family.”
Hardy won the Big East’s Most Improved Player award this past season while, leading the Red Storm (21-12 in 2010-11) in scoring, with 18.3 points per game. He was also considered a Player of the Year candidate in the conference, which eventually went to Notre Dame’s Ben Hansbrough. Hardy posted fourteen 20-point games last season, including four games in which he eclipsed the 30-point mark.