Joseph Mottola, who led Lafayette to its first post- season basketball playoff victory, is one of the most honored individuals in the College's rich athletic history. He received the Pepper Prize, symbolic of the "College's ideal," and the Class of 1913 Trophy as the top senior scholar-athlete. And on the court, he was the only player ever to serve as co-captain for three seasons.
He was the
12th player to score 1,000 points and currently ranks 29th
on the all-time scoring list with 1,040 points. He averaged
more than 10 points a game in each of his varsity seasons,
but the hustling Mottola was more noted for his ability as a
playmaker. He led the team in assists throughout his career
and averaged more than five assists per game as a senior. It
was Mottola's free throw with :03 left which lifted Lafayette
to a 72-71 victory over Virginia in the first round of the 1972
National Invitation Tournament. In that game, the Leopards
trailed 71-69 in the final minute before Mottola passed to
Walt Kocubinski for the tying basket and then stole
Virginia's in-bounds pass with :07 left which led to his
game-winning foul shot.