Ross Danzig '15, Basketball

At Scranton, student-athletes can make baskets or score goals, but they also excel at the quintessential Jesuit ideal of being men and women for others. One such person is basketball player Ross Danzig.

Year: Junior
Major: Management with a finance minor
Hometown: Clarks Summit
Position: Guard

Given that your dad, Carl Danzig, is the head coach, was it a foregone conclusion that you would play?

I almost had no choice but to play basketball. When my dad was a coach at Bucknell, I would go to all the practices. My earliest memories are being in the gym. At games, I was the ball boy, and I would shoot hoops at half-time.

What are the pros and cons of being the coach's son?

The pros are pretty much what you think. I get to see my dad every day. We always talked about my playing for him one day and now we're living it. The con is that when we have a bad game and the coach is mad, the other players can call their parents! Also, he holds me to a higher standard, but I take that in stride because he is a players' coach. He is positive-energy oriented. He knows the team is hardworking, so he tries to pump us up.

What do like best about basketball?

I like that basketball is always fast, upbeat and always changing. I play baseball, too. That involves a lot of standing and waiting. You can wait three innings before you hit, but in basketball, you always have to be on and stay focused. If my shots aren't falling, I can contribute with defense. Basketball makes you a complete player. 

What was the highlight of being on the team so far?

When I was a freshman, we had that Elite Eight run. The highlight for me was beating Middlebury at their place. They were ranked No. 4 in the country. Winning that game was great. That was also the year we won the conference championship, beating Juniata on our own court. It was great to win with the fans yelling their support and then rushing the court after the game to celebrate with us.

As an individual player, what has been your most rewarding moment?

I reached the 1,000-point mark on Dec. 16 when playing Rosemont.

You were named the 2012 Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year and to the first team, all-Landmark Conference in 2013. You are also recipient of the John ‘Les’ Dickman award as the Royals’ most valuable player in 2013. Obviously, you are a dedicated athlete. How do you balance this with school?

When playing Division III, you’re not playing for the national recognition. We’re not on scholarship, and everything you do is on you. It’s your time. It’s a real commitment, but it really speaks for your passion for the game. If you want to succeed at this level, it’s on you. And I like that, I value that. 

What are your career aspirations?

I would like to be an athletic director. I'd like to stay involved with sports and help kids. I've grown close to Toby (Lovecchio, Scranton's athletic director), and I see what he does for kids. He's easy to talk to and you can always go to him for a pep talk or to discuss the team. He's a positive influence.

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