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A day in the life of a rookie all star

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Adam Costanzo at a George Brown game vs St. Clair College. | Photo by Phil Iver

BY: VANESSIA CRAYTON

Meet 21-year-old all-star Adam Costanzo, standing tall at 6’5 this calm, down to earth, and humble guy, is currently a freshman at George Brown College. He’s also the college’s star student athlete, averaging 10.7 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game this freshman is making a name for himself. He has been recognized by the OCAA as the 2017-2018 OCAA Men’s Basketball east division Rookie of the Year, as well as the OCAA east division second-team All Star.

Beyond game days, photo shoots and team trips there are early mornings an multi-hour wokout  sessions that contribute to making a star.

The Huskies’ coach Jonathan Smith has been coaching the team for the past six-years. He says Costanzo is “a fun-loving guy with a great smile, when it comes to crossing those lines he is a fierce competitor.”

Coach Smith has seen his fair share of hardworking and talented players, he says Costanzo’s drive is like no other, which makes him an outstanding athlete.

“His competitive desire is what separates Adam from all the rest, his drive to succeed is unmatched,” Smith said.

Smith says no matter the day Costanzo always brings his A game.

“Adam brings the full package. Heart, passion and desire. I never have to worry about his work ethic in any regard,” Smith explains.

Coach Smith says he is proud of Costanzo’s consistency this season.

“He doesn’t talk himself up,” Smith says.

That’s rare these days, he says for someone so young and talented.

He accepts all creditism from coaches and tries to improve his game. Smith says he is also very caring about his teammates and helping them improve.

“His sense of team is what makes him so special,” Smith says.

Huskies point guard Arash Dusek is not only Costanzo’s teammate but also his roommate, and he describes Costanzo as a genuinely chill person.

“Adam’s a great guy with great big heart, he’s just a straight up humble guy. He is simply just a good guy who works hard and doesn’t take anything for granted,” Dusek says.

Dusek shares that he and Costanzo workout on the treadmill early mornings or late at night, as they have a 24/7 gym at their apartment.

“Due to the accessibility of our gym we challenge each other to work hard and grind through the off season.” said Dusek

Dusek admires the brotherhood that he and Costanzo are able to have and acknowledges that it’s great to have someone to always be around. Especially from something as simple as going home together after practices and the chemistry off the court translates to the game.

“We motivate each other on and off the court and that bond will remain throughout our lives as we established a friendship beyond basketball,” explained Dusek.

Not only does Costanzo play for the Huskies men’s basketball team, he majors in general business as well. With dreams of being an entrepreneur in men’s luxury athletic wear, making him more than just player number nine for the Huskies.

The Ottawa native has had to rapidly adjust to a new city, new surroundings and new teammates which can be a little overwhelming. He does all this while still having to keep basketball and academics at the forefront of his focus. All members of the team are required to uphold a 2.0 GPA in order to play.

“I’m a first-year student and not having a car I have to factor in transportation from school to our Casa Loma campus for practices. I mean also taking up to seven courses it all becomes a lot to take in at times, but it is all worth it, although its a fast-paced life and I’m always busy,” Costanzo says.

The players’ typical day starts at 5 a.m.

The blaring sound from his phone’s alarm along with the sun peeking through his window lets him know his long day is about to begin. During the hours of 5 to 6 a.m. he gets ready for school.

“My morning routine starts with taking a shower and getting dressed, that’s my time to think,” Costanzo says. “From there I have breakfast whether its oatmeal, eggs, or veggies I always need breakfast to keep me focused.”

Before he knows it, it’s already 6:30 a.m. The athlete takes an hour to catch up on any homework or to simply study for some of his classes.

From there the 45-minute bus to school begins, during this time “listening music is the key component to making my whole day work,” he said. This time is also used to reflect on corrections his coaches have given him so he can implement them during the evening practice.

It’s now 8  a.m. and this freshman heads to his three-hour lecture, which is Business 1040 Project Management.

11 a.m. hits and Costanzo is off to lunch and study simultaneously.

When the clock strikes noon it means it is time for his personal gym session, depending on the days he may workout with a teammate. This session consists of about three hours.

“During my gym session I’m working on everything from strength training to conditioning by myself. It all has to get done to keep my body strong throughout the season,” Costanzo says.

By 3 p.m., if he has the time, Costanzo seeks physiotherapy.

“Depending on how much time I have left I’ll try to get an athletic therapy appointment in just to stretch, look at some bruising I have. This period just tends to the wear and tear put on my body,” Costanzo explains.

It’s now almost 7 p.m. and practice is about to start. It seems like it’s already been a long day, and for anyone their day would be done by now. But not for Costanzo.

“By seven I’m on my way to practice. I usually eat during the commute there because I know it’s going to be intense and I need to be fueled up for practice especially if we are getting ready for a game or just the full basketball season,” he said.

Once practice is over the player heads home for dinner and to complete anything that didn’t get done during the day like homework. Then the best part, sleep.

Looking at life as an athlete from the player himself gives a positive change in perspectives. Costanzo acknowledges that there is a bigger and brighter meaning to him being known as a college athlete.

“The position that I’m in means a lot.  It’s a big-time commitment but it offers an even bigger reward,” Costanzo admits. “Being part of a college/university team is like the fruit of your labour. All the hard work I put in throughout my younger years are paying off,” he says.

In his case Costanzo can honestly say that his life is a clear depiction of the popular saying, “ball is life”.   

“My teammates and I give up our weekends and social life all for basketball, so the good thing in it is since we have the same lives and same struggles the brotherhood is stronger,” Costanzo says.

All college athletes face certain hardships which aren’t a result of being on the court, so when sweat asked Costanzo what the hardest part of being a Huskies player was, he answered genuinely.

“I commit so much time to the game I love, so I don’t get too much time to work a part-time job, there is little to no room for free time, I have a very routine schedule so I can’t go back home to Ottawa often or just do what most college students get to do,” he says. “But it is all okay with me because this is what I’m passionate about.”

Having a compact and structured schedule with limited time to cater to yourself and recharge can affect any athlete by generating unnecessary stress during a basketball season. Costanzo shares that his parents and his girlfriend are his biggest motivators, helping him stay on track with all of the obstacles he faces.

“My parents help when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the crazy schedule, they are my biggest fans, balancing being a student athlete and seven classes a semester is a super intense life,” Costanzo says.

And behind every great man is an even greater woman, right?

“My girlfriend also keeps me level and calm, helps me to understand my priorities and keep on track and not get too distracted,” Costanzo says.

All of the events that take place throughout the day in a student athlete’s life most likely leaves the average person thinking about how they do it all. The answer is simple: prioritize and time manage.

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