Sammy Mojica Jr. received a rock star ovation from the Chelsea community following the Drexel-Northeastern basketball game Saturday at Matthews Arena in Boston.
Family members, including his proud parents, Sammy Mojica Sr. and Awilda Morales, former teammates from Chelsea High and the Brimmer and May School, and friends warmly greeted the 6-foot-3-inch hoop star who played 34 minutes in Drexel’s 83-73 loss in overtime to Northeastern. Virtually everyone wanted a picture with one of Chelsea’s greatest all-time basketball players.
Also enjoying the game were Sammy Mojica Sr.’s colleagues from the Chelsea Police Department and former Chelsea High School principal Joe Mullaney.
Mojica certainly gave the large hometown contingent a thrilling afternoon of Division 1 college basketball. Mojica scored nine points on a trio of 3-pointers, and had five rebounds, four assists, and three steals in the game was televised live on the NBC Sports Network.
And more importantly, Mojica almost made a spectacular play as the buzzer was sounded, one that would have won the game in regulation and certainly showed up on ESPN’s Plays of the Day.
With the game tied at 62-62 with 1.5 seconds left, Mojica grabbed a rebound and immediately took a shot that hit the back rim and bounced away.
“Oh my gosh, I felt so good about that shot,” said Mojica afterwards. “It was getting a nice bounce off the top of the rim and I thought it was going in – and then it didn’t and I was like, ah, overtime.”
Mojica is pleased with the playing time he is receiving from head coach Bruiser Flint and the improvement he is making each game.
“In the first few games I wasn’t playing a lot, bit I knew what I can do,” said Mojica. “I put the work in and the time in the gym and I knew I was going to get on the court so I was just motivated for that. When I got my chance, I showed them what I can do. I’m definitely improving every game.”
Mojica has looked very comfortable in the Drexel offense. He scored a career-high 17 points in a win over University of North Carolina-Wilmington earlier in the season.
He said the college game is faster and more physical than high school.
“It’s definitely a high level of competition. The guys are way bigger and stronger.”
Mojica said he getting used to playing on television. He is hopeful that his team can make a run in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament and earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“No matter what a record is right now, I believe in my team 100 percent and feel we can win the championship,” said Mojica.
Joe Mullaney, who was principal for Sammy Mojica’s three years at Chelsea High School and is now an administrator at Salem High School, said he was proud to see Sammy perform so well for the Drexel basketball team.
“I think it’s awesome. Sammy’s a fantastic kid and playing college basketball is a great thing for Sammy and the community,” said Mullaney. “There’s a great turnout here to see him play and that tells you a lot about who Sammy is, the family that he has, and where he comes from. I’m proud of Sammy. He’s a great leader and a great role model.”