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Sports

The family of long-time Belle Vernon Area basketball and baseball coach Don Asmonga has announced incorporation of a non-profit foundation in his memory. A BVA coach from 1965 through 1988, Asmonga won 279 basketball games including the 1978 WPIAL title. His baseball teams also were steady contenders during his long tenure.

 

Named the Donald Asmonga Foundation, it pays tribute to the school's first and most winning coach in both sports and the only one to capture a WPIAL basketball title.

The foundation's board of directors will present inaugural annual scholarships of $1,000 each to an outstanding male and female athlete at BVA's Senior Awards Banquet next spring. Athletes of all sports will be eligible for what has been named the "Donald Asmonga Mighty Leopards Award," borrowing words from the school alma mater. Eligibility and selection criteria have been established, as well as the nominating process.

Nancy S. Asmonga Colleton of Great Falls, VA, president of the Institute for Global Environmental, chairs the foundation. She's one of six children of the deceased coach.

"His love of sports extended beyond being a player and coach to that of an active spectator and student of many games," she said.

Partly because of Asmonga's passion for golf, especially after his retirement, the new foundation also announced it will hold a fund-raising golf tournament June 26 at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Details will be announced as the event date nears.

Besides Ms. Colleton, the foundation's governing board consists of Bernice Staisey Asmonga, the coach's widow; son Donald Asmonga, vice president, Privacy Analytics; granddaughter Jennifer Asmonga, learning specialist with Shadyside Academy; Nicholas Ciaccia, business development director, Well Services Group; daughter Emilie J. Asmonga Gadd, Nottingham Township Municipal Secretary; Tom Trilli, Prudential Agent Emeritus; Dan Wassilchalk, Executive Administrator of Radiology, UPMC; and Joe Grata, a BVA School Director and longtime news reporter/columnist.

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