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August 28, 2018

Rollins College Basketball Captain, Sam Philpott, on Leading by Example

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Photo by Wikipedia
Photo by Wikipedia

Sam Philpott, a 5th Year Senior and Captain of the Rollins College men’s basketball team, not only does he shine on the court but also in the classroom.  A 3-time member of the Rollins Honor-Roll and Sunshine State Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll Sam was also a CoSIDA Third Team Academic All-American, and All-District.  His help in leading Rollins to the NCAA Elite-8 earned him spots on both the All-Tournament Team of the SSC and NCAA DII South Region and a spot on the SSC Second-team as a fifth year.

Founder of LRT Sports, Keirsten Sires: “I feel that Sam is the type of athlete that all high school student-athletes should look up to. Being successful on the court is one thing but to be successful on the court and in the classroom is what I call real success.”

LRT:  What was your favorite part about playing at Rollins?

Coach Klusman encouraging his players to be more than just basketball players was the most fulfilling part about playing at Rollins. I was always expected to prioritize basketball but was able to assume a number of other leadership roles on campus. I’d argue that doesn’t hold true for many schools and helps makes Rollins such a special place.

LRT: What do you think makes a good captain? What was the most challenging part of being a captain?

Leading by example is imperative to being an effective captain, along with maintaining emotional homeostasis. A leader can’t speak from both sides of the mouth. Anyone can verbally criticize others, but unless you are practicing what you’re preaching the message will fall on deaf ears.

LRT: What was it like to go to school so far away from home? Were you more nervous or excited?

I was initially nervous but got over the homesickness fairly quickly. Being so far away from Indiana, I was forced to fend for myself and figure things out. That being said, I learned not to take my parents for granted, and they provided invaluable support from afar during my entire tenure.

LRT: What is one piece of advice you would like to give to your younger self- basketball or non-basketball related?

I would tell my younger self to embrace failure, which provides an invaluable feedback loop for adjusting and recalibrating approach. In my opinion, anyone who crumbles at the first hint of adversity will ultimately face a lifetime of it.

LRT: How did you get on Klusman’s radar? What is the best way for aspiring recruits to be seen?

The Rollins coaches targeted me through the AAU circuit, at which point I visited Rollins and fell in love with everything the school had to offer. AAU is the perfect venue for aspiring recruits to be seen; playing on a good team provides opportunities to be seen in front of a wide array of coaches. For those who aren’t dead set on playing D1, there are plenty of potential landing spots outside of players’ traditional radars.

LRT: What is your pre-game ritual? Meals? Handshakes? Songs?

I would usually read before games; it helped mellow me out.

LRT: What is the worst injury you have had during your time as an athlete? What helped you overcome it?

In college, I didn’t miss a game until the final stretch of my senior season. I tore a calf muscle and missed a few games but was able to return to action in time for the conference tournament. I was only playing at 50% but figured I had nothing to lose by returning earlier than I otherwise would have.