Winston Smith | Director of Basketball Operations | Men’s Basketball | Drexel University

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

Talent is very important when you are recruiting a student-athlete, but there are other qualities that we look for in an athlete. I have listed three below that I feel are very important to any team:

Character– Does the player accomplish what is asked of him on the court, in the classroom and in the Drexel community? We like a player who does things the right way because it’s the right thing to do and not because people are watching.

Toughness– Our brand of basketball requires a student-athlete who possesses a certain level of toughness. With this being said the student-athlete needs to handle stern coaching, rigorous workouts in practice and during off season, and balance numerous responsibilities. In order to find success in all of these areas you must be tough-minded and able to handle criticism from the Head Coach.

Unselfishness– One of our main points of emphasis is knowing your role and staying in your box. Acceptance requires a certain level of unselfishness. Every coach likes a player to be disciplined on the offense/defensive end, and a player who is a good teammate. A coach likes someone that will put “team first” and run through a wall for their teammates.


Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

Last year I had a player by the name of Samme Givens who was an undersized post player. Although undersized, he overcame his shortcomings with hard work, determination and mental toughness. He was a good character kid, played with toughness and was a unselfish player. All of his teammates liked having him as a teammate. He was an extremely hard worker, that is why he scored over 1,000 points and recorded over 1,000 rebounds in his career. The one quality that I admired most about him was his leadership of the team. We got off to a rocky start in 2011-2012, but Samme was able to keep the team poised and they were able to win 19 straight and go on to have one of the best seasons in Drexel history with a 29-7 record. He graduated from Drexel University and now plays professionally in Holland.