The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame is honored to announce a special dinner in honor of Sean Stellato, renowned American sports agent and 2023 Hall of Fame Inductee. This exclusive event, held on November 13, 2023, at Lucia Ristorante in Boston brought together around twenty-five community leaders in celebration of Stellato’s achievements and contributions to the world of sports.
Stellato, known for his influential work as a sports agent, is a prominent figure on the American sports scene. His induction into the Hall of Fame is a testament to his dedication, skill and impact on the sports field, highlighting his remarkable trajectory and inspirational influence.
In addition to Stellato, the event will be attended by other prominent personalities from the sporting world, including Mike Rizzo, Missie Berteotti, Lou Nanne, Giuseppe Rossi, Louis Scripa Jr, Mario Massa and Ed Kelly. These iconic figures will come together to honor not only Stellato, but also to celebrate the heritage and enduring legacy of Italian-American sports.
The dinner in Boston will serve as a moment of unity and recognition prior to the official induction ceremony taking place in Chicago on December 15, 2023. Honorary Italian Consul General Minuti will also be in attendance, along with other notable guests, including renowned former players and community leaders.
The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame looks forward to this special event, designed to honor and recognize the notable contributions of Sean Stellato and these distinguished figures, uniting the sports community in a memorable celebration.
Congratulations on your induction into the Hall of Fame! How do you feel about this recognition and how do you think it might impact your career as a sports agent?
I am extremely proud of my Italian roots. My heritage has played a big role in my life and career, and has been a driving force behind any success I have had. This honor is great for all the underdogs out there. I represent all of my clients the same way I played the game: with a resilient mindset and a proactive approach. It definitely brings great exposure to our company SES Sports and validates our company and me in a very competitive industry.
Could you share a bit about your journey in the world of sports and how it culminated in this prestigious honor?
At every level, I have been overlooked as small. As a player, I never let that define me and prided myself on no player I was competing against would ever outwork me. I take great pride in rewriting the record books at Salem, Gunnery School, and Marist College. I did not receive any handouts, and that makes this less-traveled road much more gratifying. I was privy to an experience in high school that had a great impact on our team. My book “No Backing Down” came about as I was the QB of the team living with my grandma, who was dying. It has all of the elements of some of the greatest sports stories ever told. The story was about our team coming together to overcome a teacher’s strike, which was supposed to prevent us from playing in the championship game. Even though we lost in the state championship game, we still felt like we won… we did not back down!
This exclusive event in Boston is a significant milestone ahead of the official induction ceremony. What do you hope to achieve through this gathering with community leaders and prominent figures in the sports world?
What I hoped to achieve through the Boston gathering with community leaders and prominent figures in the sports world was to start more of a movement for the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and preserve the legacy of my dear friend, the late champion boxer Tony DeMarco. Guys like Tony DeMarco paved the way and never forgot where they came from. So many successful athletes have used sports as a bridge to connect people and bring change and hope to those in need.
Your influence and impact in the sports arena are evident. How do you view the role of Italian-American sports in society today, and what are your expectations for the future of this legacy?
I want to be the poster child for younger Italian Americans who have dreams of making a career in sports a realistic goal. I am looking forward to collaborating with the NIASHF and being used as a mentor to rising Italian Americans.
With this celebration, the Italian-American sports heritage is also being honored. Which aspects of this heritage do you believe are particularly inspiring for future generations?
We live in a very tech-savvy age. Everyone is always connected to their devices. Our legacies as athletes should not define our entire lives. My goal is to bring God back into the school systems and families to put more of a premium on family dinners.
The presence of prominent figures like Mike Rizzo, Missie Berteotti, Lou Nanne, Giuseppe Rossi, Louis Scripa Jr, Mario Massa, and Ed Kelly at the event highlights the importance of your legacy in the sports scene. How do you think these personalities contribute to the rich tapestry of Italian-American sports?
These individuals have succeeded in their professions and have very unique journeys. Sports speak a language we all understand, and if used properly, it can be a gateway to an extraordinary life.
As a sports agent, you’ve had a significant impact on athletes’ careers. Can you share a particular experience that highlights the importance of your role in an athlete’s life?
It’s a tremendous honor to represent 20 Super Bowl Champions and to have an opportunity to share the pinnacle of their careers by winning a Super Bowl. It is the apex of an athlete’s career. My creative thoughts are working as I seek to help each Super Bowl champ maximize their on-field success with off-field opportunities. Being a World Champion puts an athlete in another league.
The event in Boston served as a prelude to the official induction ceremony in Chicago. Is there anything specific you’re looking forward to experiencing or achieving during this celebration period?
I am excited to reconnect with my retired clients, coaches, and teammates, aiming to use this period as a way to share my journey and inspire people. It’s special for my kids to see that hard work pays off and to remember those who came before you.
Beyond recognition in the sports world, how do you view the responsibility of inspiring and shaping future generations of sports agents?
It is my duty, as someone who has been very blessed through sports, to inspire and give back to people looking to get into the sports agent space. Often, people discourage others from pursuing certain things. One of the biggest firms in the Sports Agency market told me to try something else. I feel I am the poster child for the Italian underdog!
The title of my book, “No Backing Down,” is an indication of how I live my life and what I try to instill in my players: resilience!! I take great pride in using other outlets to bring people together and inspire them.
Considering your journey so far, what are the next objectives and challenges you envision in your career in the world of sports?
NIL is a very challenging and unclear area of collegiate sports. I am trying to align myself with prospects who share the same core values and continue to set new precedents. Servicing my clients both on and off the field while continuing charitable work in literacy, raising awareness of childhood autoimmune diseases, and preserving the legacies of those Italian Americans who came before me.
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