Swarthmore men’s basketball has maintained a flawless record, going 24-0-0 into their final two conference games of the season. They have been ranked at the top of the nation since the pre-season polls and several of their players have previously earned all-America honors. Vinny DeAngelo ’23, a first-year from Aston, P.A., has been a key player in the lineup this year, recently being the highest scorer with 27 points in a 96-69 win against Dickinson College and scoring sixteen points against #7 Johns Hopkins University in an 83-69 win. He just earned Centennial Conference Player of the Week on Feb. 18.
Ben Lau: How and why did you choose Swarthmore?
Vinny DeAngelo: I chose Swarthmore because of its great academic reputation and because of the men’s basketball team’s culture. When considering colleges, I knew I wanted to stay close to home, and Swarthmore fell into that category. One of the moments that helped me realize I wanted to go to Swarthmore was during a basketball game my senior year of highschool when some of my current teammates at Swat came to watch me play. I’ve always thought that was really cool.
BL: What are you thinking of majoring in and why?
VD: I came into Swarthmore not really knowing what I wanted to study, and I am still figuring it out. Like I said, I enjoyed my intro to econ course first semester, and it’s probably the subject I am most leaning towards in terms of a major. However, I’ve always been a numbers guy and liked my Math 025 class, so that’s still definitely in consideration.
BL: Who are some of your biggest role models?
VD: Some of my biggest role models are my parents and Carson Wentz. My parents come to every game and support me in every way. Carson Wentz has been through so much adversity in his life. His past 3 seasons have ended in injury, yet he always has a positive attitude. The way Carson Wentz can lead his team and bring out the best of his teammates is very inspiring. I also look up to Joel Embiid.
BL: What is your most memorable experience at Swarthmore so far?
VD: My most memorable experience at Swarthmore was spending winter break with the basketball team. We didn’t have to worry about school and just got to hang out. I was also able to prove myself as the best Call of Duty player on the squad.
BL: How does it feel to contribute to the #1 nationally ranked team as a first year?
VD: My experience being on such a successful team has been exciting. One of the biggest changes going from high school to college ball was the attention to detail. Everyday we practice doing the ordinary things … with spirit and pride ourselves on our discipline. It also helps that everyone on our team gets along super well. We try to focus on enjoying our time with each other. When on the court, we stick to our standards and let the score figure itself out.
BL: What are some of your individual and team goals?
VD: One of our major team goals is to stay in the present and not let distractions get the best of us. Our next team goal we’re pursuing is to win the Centennial Conference playoffs.
BL: What is your pregame routine?
VD: My pregame prep involves taking a nap. Then I like to hop on my playstation and melt kids in Call of Duty. During home games, I head down to the gym about an hour and a half before game time. I get my ankle taped and watch highlights from the 2017 Eagles Super Bowl run to get me pumped up. Talking to my teammates in the locker room helps to get my nerves down, and then finally it’s go time.