It’s midday at the Las Positas Costello Gym. The gym floor is smudged by the last game of the Hawks, its players twitchy on the tail of a near-perfect season. A soft lull cools over the gym, as if steam was wafting off its floor to signify the calm before the storm. Soon, it’ll be time for another home game for the Las Positas men’s basketball team, where you’ll always see one consistent player. Not an athlete, but Kristi Giacomazzi, the Hawk’s number one fan.
During the day, Kristi is a sales manager for the Toll Brothers, a new luxury home developer. She oversees 27 agents while being a mom for her two national league gymnast daughters. From traveling to work, Hawks games and practices and events for her daughters, Kristi is a busy woman.
Despite this, she makes an effort to attend every Hawks home game.
As the wife of Coach Giacomazzi, she knows how important his teams are to him.
“When we first started dating, I realized what it was gonna be like to be a coach’s wife”
From the year-round recruiting by the Coach to sitting on buses with the team and getting to know them by name, Kristi has seen firsthand what goes into making an excellent basketball team.
“I know what he does for these kids. I know that he cares. James is competitive and knows he wants to win… [But] he cares beyond winning, he wants them to be good young men. Go on to four-year schools”
It isn’t just the recruiting and training that makes a great team. Kristi understands–it’s looking out for these athletes’ health and future. When a player got his teeth knocked out, Kristi drove them back to their home. When a player’s parents were no longer around, Kristi invited them to spend Christmas with her family. Years after the athletes left the team, she and the coach would be invited to weddings.
When Kristi had kids, it was harder for her to be involved with the team. But now that they’re older, she brings them with her to games.
“The girls are super loud. Now they see me, their mom, being super loud and yelling. Just like James, James is very animated..We just love going out there and supporting him and the players. And even though we’re not a coach, we like, get stressed out, we’ll have to go walk and stand upstairs if it’s getting too close”
Kristi and James wanted the court to be a place for their daughters to grow up.
“That gym is a second home to our girls. They walk in like they own the place. They go in and go to the vending machines and get stuff and go over to Dad’s office and they go and high-five all the guys and after every single game, they’ll run down and give their dad a big hug.”
Kristi describes how Coach Giacomazzi’s energy inspires her.
“He’s very passionate about what he does. And that’s what I love about it. It’s not like, you know, a job where he has to get up and go to a corporate office and sit at a desk with a suit and tie…He loves his kids, like his players…he’s invested in them wholly, not just as athletes, but as men” Kristi said.
She continued, “He’s probably the only person I know that doesn’t feel like he’s going to work when he’s going to work, because he loves it so much.”
While she of course goes to games to support her family, Kristi loves watching the Hawks play. She enjoys the games where the Hawks win by 20 or more, but she finds games with our rival teams like San Francisco to be the most interesting.
“I want our guys to freakin destroy San Francisco. So you get in there and you’re super pumped up, and then [the game] goes back and forth and it gets stressful” Kristi said.
She continued, “I might be biased but I think that those games against San Francisco show what a phenomenal coach my husband is because San Francisco has a loaded roster and it’s totally not equal but we were, especially that first game against them, were up three-fourths of the game.”
As the Hawks prepare for their state games, Kristi gives this message to the team,
“They have what it takes to win. It’s up to them, and they can make it happen, And we’re gonna be there to support them along the journey. Go Hawks!”
Lizzy Rager is a copy-editor for the Express.