Our rich tradition is a large part of what makes the Excel Experience so unique. With a history dating back to 1981, one of our traditions is selecting a new group of Excel Award winners at the conclusion of each week of camp. In keeping with our tradition of honoring the past, three of our most significant Excel Player Awards have been named after people who have had a profound influene on Excel Camp over the years. The following awards commemorate these “Excel Legends”:
Stu Aberdeen Outstanding Player Award
This award is dedicated to Coach Stu Aberdeen, deceased Head Basketball Coach from Marshall University. Coach Aberdeen was an amazing motivator who Coach Allocco heard speak when he attended Pocono Invitational Basketball Camp in East Stroudsberg, Pennsylvania. His dynamic speech, “The Winning Edge,” changed sixteen year old Frank Allocco’s life. Ten years later, Coach Aberdeen died of a massive heart attack at the age of 43. When Coach Allocco read the tragic news, he decided to create a Basketball Camp committed to keeping Coach Stu Aberdeen’s message and his memory alive. Each summer, Coach Allocco continues to share the lessons of Coach Aberdeen and it is with great honor and respect that we are proud to present this award to the Outstanding Players in each of our four divisions.
Dr. John Stein Best Defensive Player Award
This award is dedicated to Dr. John Stein, who was a camp coach since the earliest days of Excel. Dr. Stein was legendary for always sitting in the front row and listening to every word taught at Excel. John attended the University of Notre Dame and then Loyola Medical School in Chicago, with the idea of becoming an orthopedic surgeon. When John entered Medical School he was proud to tell everyone that he learned his amazing work ethic at Excel. During Med School, John changed direction and migrated toward Oncology where became a pioneer in many revolutionary procedures that save thousands of lives each year. Dr. Stein once said; “I actually thought that being a doctor was a way that I could probably give back more. I think I picked Oncology primarily because of the unique challenges as far as trying to take care of patients.” Dr. Stein passed away due to a severe and sudden staph infection while attending an Oncology Conference in Florida. He was just 46 years old. His commitment and love for his family, his patients, and to Excel will never be forgotten. We are proud to remember him each Friday when we present our Best Defensive Player Awards in each of our four divisions. Dr. Stein’s parents Dr. Robert and Helen Mary Stein have honored John with the Dr. John Stein Scholarship that was given to two campers in 2014. That’s Coach Allocco with one of the recipients of this significant Award.
Cindy Lowe Most Inspirational Player Award
This award is dedicated to Cindy Lowe, an ex-camper and outstanding athlete at Concord High School. Cindy was a vivacious young lady who excelled at everything she ever tried. An outstanding basketball, soccer, cross-country, and softball player, she was a great friend and teammate who always gaver her best effort for her friends. In 1986, Cindy who was a staple at the Excel Camps, was named the Excel Camp’s Most Inspirational Player. When she was diagnosed with cancer years later in her early 20’s, it was no surprise that Cindy refused to let her illness deter her from being a great daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. Her message was one of “No Regrets.” She was grateful for every day and every experience and in her final days confided that she “wouldn’t have changed one thing she had done in her life.” Coach Allocco asked for Cindy’s permission to name the Most Inspirational Player Award after her. Cindy continues to be a great teacher to all of us as we speak of her each summer as we present this most impressive award. We present it each Friday in appreciation to her for being a great teacher and inspiration to the thousands of kids who have heard her message throught the voice of Excel.