Hillsborough Community College’s Athletics home page reflects the following, “HCC aims for a high-quality learning environment that prepares its students to excel in Academics and Athletics as leaders in a global economy.”
The above statement applies to all HCC’s athletes. However, what do you call a player whose teammates gravitate to, and who remains positive, upbeat, and enthusiastic even when things are not going your way? HCC Hawks Men’s Basketball Coach Byron Samuels calls him Dan Kusnyer! Dean of Student Services, Frank Babcock, adds with excessive pride, “Dan is a great kid and a superb competitor who has managed to maintain a 4.0 throughout his career with the Hawks!”
Coach Samuels’ philosophy is when students are motivated in the classroom they are motivated on the court. It is no accident that Dan, who is from Wexford near Pittsburgh, is successful doing the right thing at the right time especially when no one is watching. Kusnyer, a position guard, schedules his time wisely balancing the demands of the court and those of the classroom.
Being a returning player put Dan into a leadership role. It’s something he feels good about, growing as a person and a player. He believes coach expects more of him and appreciates that the team is on the same page. Dan will tell you that he learns so much from fellow team mates and is pleased at how well the team gets along.
Samuels observed how Dan never wants to cheat the day giving his absolute best to get the most out of life. Dan is quite generous especially when it comes to his teammates, sharing his time, talent, and knowledge. The scholar-athlete loves the Hawks’ personalities, diversity, and rich cultural backgrounds and how they mesh together. Teammates include students from: St. Maartan Island, Nassau, Bahamas, Dakar, Senegal and throughout the Unites States.
Coach conveyed, “Number 14 is the type of young man that every father wants to have as a son or son-in-law.” “In spite of how busy Dan is, he also tutors in the math lab.” In return, Dan discusses how grateful he is for his scholarship and opportunity HCC has provided him to play, study, and learn in such a beautiful surrounding. He added, “Coach inspires me to be the best student, athlete, and person I can be.”
Article Written By: A.M. “Mia” K. Sadler, M.Ed., Academic Advisor.