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Penn State Basketball Manager Andrew Woller

Name: Andrew Woller

Year: Junior

Major: Marketing

 

HC: How did you get involved with the basketball team?

AW: I was really eager to get involved with some sports team at Penn State because I am a sports marketing major and have grown up playing basketball all my life. I figured, what better team to be a part of than Penn State basketball?

 

HC: What do you do with the team?

AW: Going into my third year with the team, I take on a little bit more responsibility with showing the younger guys how to run things so that, by the time I leave, they all know their roles. Usually we come early for practice and set up everything. Then during practice, we either rebound or sometimes get to be a part of the drills if a passer is needed or someone to set screens. On game day, it is smaller things like doing the shot chart and bringing out stools for timeouts. But the coolest is after the game when I check my phone, and it blows up from how many people saw me on TV.

 

HC: How strenuous is it?

AW: Being a manager is actually very time consuming. There have been a lot of guys who just couldn’t balance their busy work schedule as a manager with academics, which is understandable. We all put in a lot of hours per week, but it is most definitely worth the time commitment.

 

HC: How many hours a week would you say you are doing something for the team?

AW: I’d say I put in anywhere from 15-20 hours per week. Practices usually run two to two and a half hours, and with at least two games a week, it seems reasonable. The best part is that I love what I do. If I wasn’t okay with working 15-20 hours per week with this team, I wouldn’t have the busy schedule that I do, and I like keeping myself busy.

 

HC: This being your third year with the team, what can you tell us about the team’s repertoire and interaction on and off the court?

AW: They’re a great group of guys. On and off the court, they consistently joke with each other and know each other inside and out. It’s funny to watch because you see these new freshmen come in every year and expect it to take some time for them to figure things out, but the rest of the team catches them up to speed and has their backs.

 

HC: Who is your favorite Penn State basketball player?

AW: Coming into this job, I really didn’t even follow Penn State basketball. To be honest, coming from Central Jersey, I was actually a Rutgers guy (unfortunately). I’d say my two favorite players currently are Brandon Taylor and Shep Garner. They are both without a doubt the funniest guys on the team, always making jokes and doing crazy things. But when it comes game time, they know what to do. My past favorite players would have to be the Kevin Montminy and Alan Wisniewski duo. They might not have gotten a lot of minutes, but they went out of their way to get to know the managers and connect with us on a personal level. They really showed heart for this team and cared for each and every person within the program.

 

HC: Would you encourage other Penn State students to get involved with managing sports teams?

AW: Absolutely. This job has taught me a lot about the sports world and working with a sports organization, and that’s all I could ask for. If your dream for after college is to work for a sports organization, I highly recommend becoming a manager for some Penn State sports team.

 

HC: What is something that managing the team has helped you with?

AW: Managing the team has definitely helped me with my confidence. Coming in as a freshman, I would say I was shy and awkward. But getting to know the coaches, other managers and players really brought me out of my shell a bit.

 

HC: What is your favorite Penn State basketball memory?

AW: Meeting Kanye. The day Kanye West came to State College was insane. As Kanye was rehearsing in the main arena, I tweeted at him to come play some pick-up with the managers in the practice facility. Within minutes, he arrived with his “posse.” He dapped all of us up, and we chatted for a bit. But he didn’t want to ball because he didn’t want to ruin his shoes. At first he actually thought all of us were players for the team, which was hilarious seeing that I am 5’9″ and well, not that good. As Kanye was about to leave, he goes, “wait give me one shot.” So a manager fired a bullet pass to Yeezy, and he drained the three and goes, “I’m out,” and left in dead silence. Absolutely absurd.

 

HC: Along with managing, what are other clubs or extracurricular activities you are involved in?

AW: Currently, I am one of the THON chairs for my fraternity. I love THON and all that it stands for, so I love what I do for that. Other than that, I really don’t have much time for other clubs or activities – I like to have at least some free time for myself.

 

HC: What characteristics do you think exemplify Penn State basketball?

AW: Attitude and relentlessness. It’s what Coach Chambers has burned into every player’s manager’s, coach’s and fan’s brains. You have to keep going and thinking about the next play at all times – don’t worry about your mistakes. Having the right attitude and right mindset is all you need to succeed in whatever you do. Also, relentlessness is great – it shows you should never give up.

 

HC: What have you learned about yourself since becoming a manager?

AW: I’ve learned that I am capable of taking on bigger roles. As much as I like staying inside my comfort zone, it is always good to get out of that zone and be uncomfortable and to do something you’ve never done before.

 

HC: What sets Penn State basketball apart from the rest of the sports at Penn State?

AW: We are all two feet in. Every person associated with Penn State basketball cares for this program inside and out.

 

HC: What makes Penn State basketball so RELENTLESS?

AW: We are always up for a challenge – it became clear last year in the Big Ten tournament when we made a great run. Beating Nebraska and Iowa showed just how relentless we are. On the run, the famous “Why Not Us” was started, showing exactly what we mean by relentless. 

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