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Transformation Tuesday with Baseball Senior P.J. DeMeo

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Transformation PJ DeMeo

How have you grown as a leader of this team?
DeMeo: I think that just happened by having awesome leaders ahead of me. I got to see some really great examples of how to do things. I was able to implement things I saw from them and use that with the team now. Also, with some of the pretty cool programs we went through as a team earlier this fall -those have absolutely helped shape us into leaders.

What has been your biggest accomplishment at Pitt?
DeMeo: Just being able to play at Pitt and represent my hometown. Being able to wear my city across my chest is pretty important. Pittsburgh is an awesome city to grow up in, and being able to play here has been an unreal experience - having Pittsburgh written across the front of my jersey is something that I'll never take for granted.

Do you have a favorite moment?
DeMeo: It was definitely last year when I homered at Grambling State. I hit a homerun in the middle of the game, and nobody said a word to me until we got on the bus about two hours later. Not a word. Not the coaches, not my teammates, not even on the field. I got the straight silent treatment for the remainder of the game. Then we got back on the bus, and everyone went nuts and started talking again. It's a baseball thing. But that was probably my favorite moment.

P.J. DeMeo

Any advice that was given to you that stuck?
DeMeo: The biggest piece of advice someone gave to me was to make other teams feel your pain. Coming from a blue collar town, we are always working. We have to wake up and go to 6 AM practice in the snow; we have to walk to the Cost facility. It's not fun. The best part of that was knowing when the season came, we could make people feel that pain by how we beat them. We could make them understand what we were going through while they were out having 70 degree practices.

Are you involved with anything else on or off campus?
DeMeo: I'm involved with CC Champions. You get paired up with a little kid who has cancer and you act as their "champion" to help the kids get through cancer. I'm matched up with Bryce - you can see I wear his wristband everyday. His name is written in my hat. It's awesome. Bryce has become a huge part of my life - I keep in touch with him probably once every other week with his mom and his dad. Unfortunately he has to come to Pittsburgh for treatment, but knowing for the hour that we get to hang out I can make him feel better is awesome.

I'm also part of SAAC, the student-athlete advisory committee. I'm the director of operations, it's my fourth year doing it. It's been awesome to be able to be a part of the athletics administration as well as represent my fellow athletes' voices with all of the cool legislative stuff going through the NCAA.

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