Former Philly U basketball standout named a Thiel fellow

Philadelphia University point guard Jordan DeCicco with his Sunniva Super Coffee in the Gallagher Center Gym Wednesday December 28, 2016. ( DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer )

Jordan DeCicco, 21, an acclaimed point guard for Philadelphia University’s men’s basketball team, has been awarded a $100,000 Thiel Fellowship to take a break from school to work on a company he started in his dorm room. Sunniva’s first product, Sunniva Super Coffee energy drink, is a blend of organic coffee, lactose-free milk protein, coconut oil and organic maple syrup.

The company, which DeCicco, a New York native, formed with his two brothers, was projecting $2.5 million in sales for 2017.

The two-year fellowship, a program tech investor Peter Thiel’s foundation started in 2011, also provides participants with access to a network of technology entrepreneurs, investors, and scientists.

As a sophomore this past school year, DeCicco was enrolled in an independent-study course in entrepreneurship at Philadelphia University. Attending the school on a full basketball scholarship, he took a year off after his freshman year to work on his business, he said in a December interview.