Friday, May 20, 2011

Mob Wives: Ness (Nezir) Selmani, Drita’s Father

Drita’s maiden name is Selmani, it’s kind of an Italian sounding name, even though she is Albanian. Drita looks quite a bit like her father, but that is where the similarity ends. Drita’s father is a far cry from the other three women’s fathers on the show, Mob Wives. While Drita fits right in with daughters raised in the mob lifestyle, her father is a fine, upstanding, law abiding man. I found this particular blog very refreshing to write. Finally, a person I can relate to, who works hard, has a legitimate career, pays his taxes and is looked up to by many in his profession. Her father is Nezir Selmani, better known as Ness, and he is the Head Coach of the “Rams,“ the women’s soccer team at Fordham University, in the Bronx, New York City. He has been their coach for 15 years and is a graduate of Prishtina University, in what was then Yugoslavia,1972.

Selmani is Albanian and was born and raised in Kosovo. He grew up playing soccer, the “poor man’s sport,” as he refers to it, because it requires very little equipment. In 1972, after he graduated college, his family moved to the United States. They settled in New York, where Selmani played on semi-professional teams and also coached the Empire State girls and boys teams. Before working at Fordham, he had successfully coached several semi-professional clubs. His experience was impressive.

Selmani began his career at Fordham by assisting the head coach of the men’s soccer team in 1994. The men’s team went up in rank. Selmani began coaching the Rams, the women’s team, in 1996. Due to his leadership, the team has had a long and successful record of wins year after year. In 2007, he had led the team to 5 winning seasons in six years and for the second time he was voted Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year by the women’s soccer divisions. His Fordham peers, voted him University Coach of the Year, also for the second time. A modest man, Selmani refuses to take credit for his team’s accomplishments. Instead he gives the credit to his players. His office is said to have many pictures of his current and past players displayed, too numerous to count. He keeps track of all their birthdays so that he can personally call them to wish them a Happy Birthday.

“When seeking recruits, Selmani says he looks first at a player’s grades and then at her soccer ability. ‘I am a very strict coach,’ he says, ‘but I am trying to build good minds as well as good soccer players.’”

I was quite impressed with what I read about Mr. Selmani. I even found a little audio recording, and if you are interested, you can listen to him speak with his European accent (link below). Now I can completely understand why he said he was disowning Drita for marrying Lee. He must have been totally heartbroken. I can only imagine his embarrassment now, as many of his students and colleagues may be tuning in to Mob Wives and watching his daughter on national television. What must his reaction be, if he has even seen the show, and witnessed what has become of his daughter. I can tell you, if she were my daughter, I would be sick over it. Reading about her father makes me wonder if Drita has any regrets about marrying Lee and going against her decent, moral upbringing. I would think it would be hard to go against everything you have ever known and taught to be right, but Drita makes it look easy.

Audio of Mr. Selmani speaking on helmets for soccer players:



Love said...

I had also read some of this about Nezir. I am sure that he is hating this for his daughter, although she said he disowned her, it's obvious that the initial shock is over, and he sees Drita and her children, Drita has talked about her mom having the kids, etc. (What a wonderful grandpa to have!)
One can only hope that his strict Albanian upbringing doesn't over ride his parenting - and he always leaves that door open for her.
You have to feel for the man, college sport coaching positions are sooo competitive, and Lee must embarrass him to death, like you said. When dealing with parents, I am sure he has heard once or twice, well, look what yours is doing.....

Chiara Soprano said...

Reading about him and watching her vulgarity, I can only imag.ine how he must feel. It was one thing when it was a private matter, but now basically the whole world knows. That's sad. I wasn't aware that her mother and father spend time with their grandparents. I am happy to hear that. They need positive role models in their lives

Mob Mistress said...

I enjoyed reading about her father. I don't want to get too deep here. But you know a parent's love is something fierce. Even when we see our children do wrong the conduit of love doesn't stop. We may make them face their consequences of their actions and/or choices. We may or may not help them out. But it's a painful thing to watch your beloved child with so much potential go down the wrong path or a path you would never want for them.

No matter what our children do, most parents' love is undying and neverending.