1) Steven, why did you decide to attend Oberlin College? Were
there any other schools you seriously considered going to?
Oberlin has always been known as a great academic school, and it
never hurts to
graduate with a degree that has international scope. In the past
couple of years the college has been committing itself towards
improving its athletic programs. I felt it would be a great
opportunity to learn as well as to continue playing basketball.
seriously considered going to the Naval Academy. I had been
accepted academically, and physically, but the question was my
asthma. When I found out, shortly before the day I would have
left, that the final medical review board didn't OK my waiver,
Oberlin was the pick. The fact that both my parents graduated
from OC didn't hurt.
2) Oberlin is ranked one of the top 50 liberal-arts colleges in
the nation by U.S. News. How hard is it to balance the athletics
and academics, and at the same time having an enjoyable social
It was tough at first trying to be the best student I could be,
while trying to become the best basketball player I can be. Then
adding any social activity really made my head spin at times.
By the second semester, though I had the whole time management
thing down, and everything went a lot smoother then it had at
the beginning of the year. I have learned that the Professors
are really understanding, as long as you talk to them, and that
really helped. It was actually easier for me to get done what I
had to during the season. I knew I had to work hard, for if I
didn't, I would fall too far behind because I didn't have much
time. Outside of basketball season I was hit with more free time
and I would start to enjoy it too much, and before I knew it I
wouldn't have time to finish what I needed to. I was very
fortunate to have teammates who also helped me out in this
3) Frank "Happy" Dobbs was recently named the team's new Head
Coach. Dobbs has extensive coaching experience, including being
the head coach of Brown for nine years, and was a solid player
at Villanova in early 80's. Have you had a chance to meet your
new coach? Are you excited about the new change?
My teammates and I had an opportunity to eat lunch with coach
Dobbs, and the rest of our coaching candidates. Even though it
was just a short while I got to spend with him, I got the
impression that he was a great person, and would be able to help
our team continue in the right direction.
4) In the past three years, Oberlin has gone from 2, to 7 and
then to 9 wins last season. This year, you're going to lose
James Keating to transfer (Wright St.), and may be without
leading scorer Chris Ikpoh due to ineligibility. Do you think
the team will improve on their win total yet again? Is getting
to .500 one of the team's goals?
I believe we can achieve a higher win total this upcoming
season, even despite our losses. It is definitely going to be a
harder task without them, but we have a great group of players
coming back. It is an opportunity for someone to step up, and I
am confident someone will.
5) Oberlin plays in the North Coast Athletic Conference. How is
the competition in the NCAC? What teams are usually the
toughest, and who's the favorite for this new season?
The competition level is really high in the NCAC; the games are
really competitive. When you think of the top teams in the
conference, Wittenburg, Wooster, Ohio
Weslyan, and Wabash always come to mind. You can't count out the
rest of the league though for on any night anybody can beat
anybody; we proved it last year with wins over Wabash and Ohio
Weslyan. Until someone dethrones them, Wittenburg has to be the
favorite for next year.
6) In a short paragraph, how would you describe your own game?
Is there any special skill/s you've been working on to improve
your game during the off-season?
Well, I'm shooting guard by trade, but tend to play more like a
point. I'm notorious for passing off an open shot for a teammate
who I think might have a better chance to score. I pride myself
on assists, and defense more so than the points I score. This
summer I have been shooting a lot, and also working on my ball
handling. I have also been doing a lot of strength and
7) Do you know anything about Oberlin's incoming class? Have you
had a chance to play with them?
I have gotten to play with many of the recruits that came to
visit, but as of right now I don't know very much about
Oberlin's incoming class. Being in the midst of a coaching
change late in the recruiting season many of our recruits were
reluctant to commit to a school without a sure coach. I don't
know which one of them would be coming this coming year. I do
know that we have a center coming from Massachusetts. I have not
seen him play, and I'm looking forward to see what he can do.
8) Could you tell us a bit about your hoops career before
heading to college. Do any of your former teammates now play
I Played for Clovis West High School before attending Oberlin
College. My junior year was the only year I played on the
varsity level. My senior year I decided not to play basketball
so that I could play volleyball year round. Clovis West is the
perennial powerhouse in California's central section, winning 6
straight, and counting, CIF
section titles and numerous top 20 state rankings .My junior
was a great one, being ranked as high as 9th in the nation by
USA today, ranked 3rd in the state overall, with the team
reaching the state Division 1(largest school) finals,
registering wins over teams featuring many NBA and Division 1
stars, including DeShawn Stevenson (Utah Jazz) Tyson Chandler
(Chicago Bulls), Wesley Stokes (University of Missouri), and
Cedric Bozeman (UCLA), to name a few. From my team 9 players
play college ball, including two Division 1 players; Chris
Hernandez (Stanford), and Andrew Awad (Santa Barbara), three
NAIA players, and three at the Junior College level. I am the
only player that plays Division three ball. Two of my teammates
Tyrone Jackson, and Jason Walberg, who will play for Fresno City
College next season have Division 1 talent, and watch for them
in the next few years.
9) What are your plans after college? Do you have any interest
in coaching basketball or remaining with the game, or do you
plan to put the sport behind you?
If I have the opportunity to continue my playing career, I would
love to, but other than that I think I might be done with
basketball for awhile. I would like to get into the business
sector, and if I have time to do a little coaching I would love
to. I do plan on continuing to play ball recreationally.
10) Is there anything special you'd like to tell Oberlin fans,
other hoops fans from around the country?
I would like fans to watch out for Oberlin in the coming years,
the program is definitely on the upswing. Also, don't
underestimate Division III basketball. It might not have the
coverage, or notoriety as Division I, but the basketball is
played at a high level. I know for a fact that many of the D3
players have the talent to play D1!