Thanks for checking out IU Film Room. One of the biggest questions I see asked when content from IU Film Room gets shared is, ‘well who is Tony Adragna?’ or ‘what makes him qualified to know these things?’
I think those are fair questions when I’m critiquing film on the Hoosiers – they don’t bother me. But I also don’t want to respond with a full resume on who I am, what I do, and how this site came to be each time. So I figured I’d make a post about it and maybe I can share this for now on when people ask who I am (lol).
Tony Adragna – The Basketball Player
My love for basketball started as early as I can remember. My dad and I used to sit in the living room and watch basketball for hours. In fact, I actually learned how to count because of basketball. Before they kept the score on the screen for the duration of the game, my dad got sick of me asking what the score was after each basket, so he taught me how to count.
Anyway, I had a little hoop I played on like every other boy in Indiana, but I’d play literally from sun-up to sun-down.
That dedication to the game paid off, as I went on to play high school basketball at Southport in Indianapolis, and was team captain my senior year. I played three years for two-time state champion, Jason Delaney (currently at Cathedral), and a year for Mark Eccles.
Recently, when I asked Coach Delaney if he’d write me a letter of recommendation for something, he noted: “The way that Tony saw and thought the game was different from other players his age. His love for the game would shine through and was contagious to his teammates. Southport had not had much success in basketball for many years, but Tony helped lead us to the most wins in 18 years.”
Although I had some success as a high school basketball player, I wasn’t anywhere good enough to play at the Division 1 level, and only would have kept playing if I was. So I hung up the shoes and made my way down to my beloved Indiana University.
Tony Adragna – The Broadcaster
At IU, I think I had about five different majors my freshman year. I wanted to be a teacher, I considered the business school, I thought about broadcasting, I even thought about becoming a lawyer.
But by the time I was a sophomore, I had a good idea that I wanted to go into Sports Broadcasting. It allowed me to stay around the game that I loved so much, and even better, I got to be around the IU Basketball team and cover games (amongst many other sports at IU).
The apex of my broadcasting career was when I got to broadcast Hoosier Hysteria on Big Ten Network for the 2012-13 season, the year that the Hoosiers entered the season at #1 in the country. Assembly Hall was buzzing and I got to call the action. It’s an opportunity I’m still grateful for.
Tony Adragna – The Basketball Coach
After graduating from IU with a Sports Communication – Broadcast degree, I had pretty much decided that broadcasting was fun, but I wasn’t willing to move all over the country to ‘make it.’ I had some great internships in college that also prepared me for the ‘business’ route, and I became a digital marketer as my day job.
But it was what I did after my day job that became so rewarding. I was hired by Kyle Simpson – two-time State Champion assistant coach and then head coach at Southport – to coach basketball at the same place I played – Southport Middle School. I basically had no idea what I was doing in my first year & just relied on the fact that I had played the game before, and it showed. Our team was pretty bad, I was unorganized, but it also lit a spark in me. Through the struggles of that first season, I found a new passion and it was coaching kids basketball.
I stayed at the middle school level for two more years, and my final year our team went 17-3 and broke the school record for wins.
After that season, Coach Simpson ‘called me up to the big leagues’ and I became a part of the Southport High School staff, where my love for coaching continued growing. While on the staff, I helped to start a youth basketball league that still exists today, I did over 30 scouting reports, ran practices, and eventually became the varsity assistant alongside former IU basketball player, Kyle Taber.
While coaching at Southport, I also coached for the Indiana Elite AAU program, one of the best AAU programs in the entire country. My final three years with Indiana Elite, I helped coach a team in which every player but one went on to play college basketball. Going into their senior year, our team went 38-11 and averaged over 70 points per game.
Alongside the coaching gigs, I also trained players. In particular, I trained my brother-in-law (the tallest kid in the middle in the pic above) from 7th grade through his senior year of high school. He was just named an NJCAA Region 4 All-Region player and will be playing this upcoming season for Olney Central Community College.
But in 2019, my life changed. I switched careers and also learned that I was going to be a dad. My responsibilities in my day-job grew, and my responsibilities at home were about to grow, as well. I made the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make and left the coaching profession.
IU Film Room is Born
I love IU. I love basketball. I love broadcasting. I love coaching. I love breaking down film. Organically, IU Film Room came to be. I could intersect so many of my passions and put them into a single passion project, it just made too much sense. When the baby is in bed & work is turned off, I can plug into IU film and give fans a perspective that hadn’t really existed previously.
Don’t get me wrong – there is amazing IU content from numerous different avenues. There just wasn’t much that focused on film analysis and a deeper dive into the X’s and O’s of the game.
Now, unfortunately, I started this project in the middle of the Archie Miller era, so film breakdown could get ugly and extremely mundane. I digress…
Tony Adragna – The Man
I’m a father to my toddler son, Giovanni Adragna. I have a baby girl on the way in January 2022, and I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Jess. Family means absolutely everything to me and I feel blessed with the best.
I’m the President of DVC Rental Store – a third party Disney broker that helps people stay in deluxe Disney resorts for less (hit up our site if you’re going to Disney World). This was part of the career change I made in 2019, but at the time I was just running our marketing. In 2021, I have since taken on the title of President and now run our operations.
I’m imperfect and am striving to be a decent dude. I love interacting with people on Twitter and I’d love to chat hoops with you.
If you have any interest, the majority of my film room content now lives over in our Premium Membership. It’s currently free to sign up, but I can’t promise that it will always be, so head on over there! 🙂