This Hits Different Episode 47: DiMichele brothers giving back with free clinic

Adam and Alex DiMichele are giving back to McKees Rocks with a free football clinic for kids

In today’s episode of This Hits Different, Shelby Cassesse tells the story of Adam and Alex DiMichele, who are giving back to the McKees Rocks community with a free football clinic for kids.

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DiMichele brothers giving back with free clinic

Between the two of them, brothers Adam and Alex DiMichele have pretty much done it all when it comes to athletics.

An offer to play football in Italy, baseball in Florida and then drafted by the Blue Jays, a stint with Robert Morris, time with the Eagles, Canadian football and arena football.

But all of that started with humble beginnings in McKees Rocks. The seven DiMichele siblings, grew up in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house. Though the family was always close in proximity, Alex credits his parents with keeping the family close at heart.

“They’d sacrifice anything for us,” he said. “They slept on couches for 16 years. One slept on one, one slept on another. That’s not normal. That kept us close and that’s why we are the way we are.”

For Alex, football didn't always come easy, but his love for the game pushed him.

“I always wanted to be the best,” he said. “I wasn’t the most talented, but I worked harder than everybody.”

For Adam, a four year starter for the Sto-Rox football, basketball and baseball teams, the ability came easy, the passion? Not so much at first.

“I didn’t really want to do it,” Adam said. “I wasn’t fully bought in. I didn’t know if it was eventually going to lead to anything.”

But eventually it clicked for them both.

Adam is considered a Sto-Rox legend who broke the all-time WPIAL passing record. He and Alex competed side by side, eventually leading the Vikings to a WPIAL final appearance.

It took some time, but the two ended up together again at Temple. It ended up being a sticking point for Adam, who turned it into a near decade long coaching career.

“I was able to impact the kids that we were working with,” he said. “That’s what we set out to do and I think that’s what we’re destined to do.”

Alex transferred to RMU, where he also found a home coaching. Most recently, that journey took him to Montour after a few years away.

“It’s enjoying, I love it,” Alex said. “I enjoy being back in the game and being able to make a difference.”

The two brothers spent years apart as they pursued their dreams, but last year all roads led back to Sto-Rox. Alex and Adam decided it was finally time to make good on a long-time dream.

“We’re going to bring this thing back home,” Adam said. “We’re going to train kids, mentor kids, and be a positive influence on the kids.”

That was the start of DiMichele Brothers Performance. A place were local kids come to learn from coaches who have been in their shoes. But the brothers see it as a bigger opportunity.

Last month, the company hosted a free camp for local kids. A way to reach players who may not be in a position to pay for camps and clinics. An even that left a lasting impression, not just on the brothers, but the kids who train with them.

“You know how we know that we’re making an impact,” Alex asked.”We had 25 plus kids that I either coach at Montour, or that are our athletes at DiMichele Brothers Performance, and it was a Sunday morning. So they volunteered six hours on a Sunday to come make an impact with us.”

All to invest back in the community that gave them their start, in the hopes they can do the same for the next generation.

“It just gives them an opportunity, and opportunity to be successful, an opportunity to get their school paid for, an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself,” Alex said.

“Because that’s what it is, it’s bigger than football.”