For most people, the experience of watching a college basketball game begins with tip-off and ends after the final buzzer. Major sports media outlets may cover the higher-profile games with performance analysis and the never ending hype of March Madness. What most people don’t get to see however, is that those elements simply scratch the surface.
My name is Joe Orsatti and I am finishing my second season as a student manager for the Temple University Mens’ Basketball team. You don’t typically hear about us on ESPN or FS1, but managers are responsible for a lot of the day-to-day operations of any collegiate level sports team. My story began during the summer of 2017 when a family friend approached me about potentially becoming a manager, knowing that I had an exceptionally high interest in sports with the intention of pursuing a career in the field after graduation.
My experience as a student manager has had me doing a little bit of everything, whether it be distributing will-call tickets to the families of players and coaches during home games, running the clock during practice, doing laundry after workouts, or something as simple as rebounding for a player who wants to get some extra shots off before or after practice. My job is to make life easier for the players and coaches so that they can achieve the best possible outcomes on the court.
While there are typically a few managers per team, class schedules don’t always line-up, some managers have separate part-time jobs for the purpose of paying their rent or saving to pay off student loans so you may need to pick up the slack on particular days. The position can be demanding at times but the pros certainly outweigh the cons.
Growing up around Philadelphia, sports has always played an important part of my life. Therefore having the opportunity to not only work with, but have very strong relationships with individuals I admire such as Coach and former 76er Aaron McKie or Coach Fran Dunphy, who’s been a household name around Philadelphia for decades, is a surreal experience.
Very few have the privilege to play college basketball at the D1 level, but being an important part of the team’s success even without the fanfare is extremely gratifying. I would recommend applying to be student manager of your college basketball team to anyone looking to break in to the world of sports.
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