The men’s basketball team at Saint Anselm College had a fantastic 2013-2014 season. The squad went 17-4 in the conference and finished 22-8 overall. The Hawks enjoyed a nine-game winning streak that included a victory over Southern New Hampshire University that was televised on CBS Sports Network. The team eventually secured an invitation to the NCAA tournament and made it to the NCAA East Regional Semifinals in New Haven, Connecticut. After beating Le Moyne (to whom they had lost in the regular season) and Bloomfield, they lost a nail-biter to Southern Connecticut State.
The History Department’s very own Chris Santo ’15 (Cherry Hill, NJ) and Isaiah Nelsen ’17 (North Andover, MA) were integral parts of this squad. Chris started at forward for the entire season while Isaiah, also a forward, did a great job filling in when the starters got in foul trouble. Among starters, Chris had the second-highest field goal percentage (56.7%), the second-highest number of total rebounds (194), and was the team’s third-highest scorer (436 points).
One Thing after Another had a few things to ask Chris (above) as he recovered from the season’s end.
Q: At what point did you it become clear to you and the team that an NCAA East Regional playoff spot was a real possibility? What was the high point of this season for you?
A: It was always our goal to make the regional tournament. I think everybody really believed that we could do that from the day we got to campus this year. I’d say the high point was playing in that championship game against Southern Connecticut. We may not have won, but we walked away from that game knowing that we belonged there and were certainly capable of winning.
Q: How did you end up at St. Anselm College?
A: I was recruited by Coach Jimmy Moore and Coach Keith Dickson from the University of Vermont. I transferred here after my freshman year. The coaches here came up to watch me play at UVM, and I also visited here with my parents as I narrowed down my options.
Q: How and why did you decide to become a history major?
A: I became a history major to accompany my secondary education minor. History has always been an area of interest for me. I declared it after I took an American history course at UVM.
Q: How do you manage to balance the demands of basketball and schoolwork? Is there a secret here?
A: Being a student-athlete at Saint Anselm college is definitely not an easy thing to do. The classes here are very challenging. Nevertheless, Coach Dickson is great about making sure we stay on top of our books. He understands that school comes first. Luckily for me, the professors I’ve had have been extremely helpful and understanding with regards to my athletic schedule. That just leaves all the accountability on us to make time to get work done and study.