Jul 23, 2013, 10:25 AM EDT
The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team welcomes four freshman to the mix this upcoming season; Austin Torres, Steve Vasturia, V.J. Beachem and Demetrius Jackson. In addition to a sit down ‘getting to know’ video, each student-athlete took a few minutes to chat with me about their summer, coming to Notre Dame and some random thoughts they have. Torres’ is the first of a four-part series that will look at each student individually, Vasturia will be release on Thursday followed by Beachem and Jackson next Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. Enjoy…
“Growing up a fan of Notre Dame and growing up just down the road, it was an easy decision to come here after Coach Brey offered” incoming freshman Austin Torres stated.
Torres, a 6’7″ forward from Mishawaka, Ind., looks to provide a long, athletic wing presence to the Irish for this upcoming season.
Seeing that he is a local product, Torres had some great memories of past Notre Dame games. “It was when Colin Falls was on the team and Notre Dame was playing Georgetown” Torres said. “He hit an ‘and one’ three-pointer to put it into overtime, eventually losing. But that was one of the greatest memories in my mind as a Notre Dame fan.”
Growing up a Notre Dame fan was easy for Torres because his mom and biological father both were student-athletes at the University, soccer and football, respectively. “I’ve always had Notre Dame blood running through me” stated Torres. “So it was easy to be a Notre Dame fan my entire life.”
Notre Dame brings many things to a prospective student-athlete, a top-flight education paired with high-level ACC athletics, it was no different for Torres.
“Coach Brey and the coaching staff is great, not to mention one of my best friends Demetrius Jackson is coming here, we played AAU together and developed a bond together on and off the court.”
Expectations are always tough to tame for incoming student-athletes, but Torres is about as grounded as they come.
“My freshman year I don’t care about playing time, I just want to get in the gym and get better. Push the players who will be in the games. My goal is to obviously win a national championship. Try to work as hard as we can and be a really good role player for the team”
TORRES HIGHLIGHT VIDEO
Being a local product, Torres will have a support system that many collegiate basketball players only dream of having. His high school coach at Penn High School, Al Rhodes, was the head coach of Warsaw when they won the famed Indiana High School Basketball Championship in 1994. He was a huge help to Austin’s development along with a few other people as well.
“Coach Rhodes was a really big help for me, he told me it wasn’t about the physical aspect of basketball it was about the mental aspect. Knowing what you want to do or accomplish was important to him. He had that faith in me that not alot of other coaches had. He knew if I put the work in, I could get here” said Torres. Additionally, he talked about other mentors and teachers he had, “Rod Creech helped me develop my skills and Greg Bush helped me with my jump shot. I have a bunch of different coaches that have been meshed together to make me who I am.”
When asked about his favorite professional basketball, Torres quickly responded with ‘Kevin Durant’ but took some time to decide on his favorite college basketball player before finally deciding on ‘Glenn Robinson III of Michigan because of his athleticism’ then added that he would hope to get to be as good as ‘James Michael McAdoo’ from North Carolina.
Check back on Thursday as we meet our next freshman, Steve Vasturia…
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