Athlete of the Week: George Visconti ’21

George Visconti is a sophomore from Clark, New Jersey, where he attended Arthur Johnson High School. Visconti began the 2019-2020 men’s basketball season with a strong showing against Eastern University, in which he scored fifteen points, and went eight of ten from the free-throw line starting at the shooting guard position. Visconti and the men’s basketball team will play next on Nov. 16 at Neumann University.

Neel Gupta: How and why did you end up choosing Swarthmore?

George Visconti: I wound up applying to Swarthmore after Coach Kosmalski reached out and started to recruit me. The reason I chose Swarthmore is similar to many of the student athletes here; I wanted to play basketball for the best program I could that had a great academic reputation. Luckily, Swarthmore met and exceeded that criteria; prior to my freshman year the men’s basketball team made it to the elite eight of the NCAA tournament, and the year before that they won the conference. Obviously, we all know the academic reputation of Swarthmore, so that box was checked off too. Another huge factor that led me to pick Swarthmore was the fact that we have a generalized engineering degree. I preferred that over a program that makes you choose a specialization from day one because I feel that I did not have enough information to make a well-informed decision. Swarthmore’s program will allow me to explore the sub-disciplines of engineering and specialize after my undergraduate studies.

NG: What are your major/minor(s), and your hobbies and interests outside of the team?

GV: I plan on being an engineering and computer science double major. My hobbies [and] interests are playing video games, [poker], golf, and spending quality time with friends [and] family.   

NG: How did last season’s success prepare you for the upcoming season?

GV: One thing we all noticed from last season is as we were making our tournament run we got slightly distracted with the venues around us. I think we did a good job of blocking outside “noise”, but once we got to the Final Four we took notice of the new things: a huge arena, NCAA staff taking great care of us, and the fact we got on a plane to get to our game. I think if we’re fortunate enough to return to that position again, we’ll feel much more comfortable and we’ll be able to focus solely on the task at hand, which is winning the National Championship.

NG: With the departure of a strong senior class, what changes has the basketball team undergone for this season?

GV: Yes, we lost a phenomenal senior class, the most winning in Swarthmore Men’s Basketball history for that matter. I think what is important for our team is realizing the goal of this season is not to replicate last year’s season. We don’t need anyone to “fill” Cam’s [Wiley ’19] shoes. He was clearly the best player in program history, but it is unfair to tell someone they have to be exactly what Cam was for us; every player is unique and different. This season we have a new team, and with that comes different team dynamics and player personalities. This season will be a totally new and unique journey from last year’s, so keeping that in mind, we are going to try to be the best version of Swat men’s basketball 2019-2020 that we can be. 

NG: How do you balance your athletics commitment with schoolwork while on such an outstanding team?

 GV: Our basketball schedule is clearly very demanding, especially during the season, but I don’t think it is very different from other student athletes’ schedules or anyone else’s for that matter. I know tons of students who aren’t on an athletics team but who manage to be just as busy, if not busier than myself by participating in a slew of extracurriculars. Personally, I just try to time manage the best I can and work ahead if possible. I am often asking myself, “what can I be doing to make my life easier in the future or on game days?” Now I’m not constantly pressing myself with that question or freaking myself out, but I do try to be mindful of working ahead. 

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