CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Capital girls basketball coach B.J. Calabrese has experienced a tumultuous year filled with pain and heartbreak.
During the early part of the summer, Calabrese's mother-in-law passed away due to complications from liver cancer.
Also, in a one-week span, Calabrese's house flooded and partially burned down.
Recently, Calabrese's father has fallen ill and Thanksgiving weekend, Calabrese's longtime friend and mentor, Frank Scagnelli Jr., passed away.
With everything that Calabrese has been through this year, his one refuge has been basketball.
Calabrese hopes to get a reprieve with hoops and his Cougars certainly helped him get his mind off things with a good start to their season, defeating Lincoln County 47-32 victory Tuesday evening.
"Being able to take two hours after school and work with these young ladies have been amazing," Calabrese said. "I'm thankful to be able to spend time with the team."
Calabrese admitted this year has been a rough one and challenging to concentrate on the task at hand at times.
"2013 is almost over and 2014 is coming," Calabrese said. "I'm really looking forward to a new year and getting this bad luck 13 out of the way.
"It's been really difficult. It's been tough focusing on work but I'm doing the best I can. You try to spend time with the team, teaching, trying to work on the house, and dealing with all the family things."
After struggling to juggle dealing with the death of his mother-in-law and spending hours working on the majority of his house that burned down, Calabrese was happy to return to work.
Calabrese is the golf coach at George Washington and began the season with the Patriots in early August, still with everything else going on.
That's when more bad news hit with his father turning ill after suffering internal bleeding with his colon.
"Dad was in the hospital for a week and half to two weeks," Calabrese said. "They had to take him off the blood thinner. That is a bit of a concern. I've been really worried about him."
Scagnelli passed away on Thanksgiving after a fall that led to brain surgery, a stroke, and pneumonia. Calabrese was on the Charleston Catholic girls basketball coaching staff with Scagnelli for 15 years from 1988-2003.