We sat down with Ben Horwitz, Graduate Assistant for Syracuse Men’s Basketball. Ben was at the inaugural PBC in 2017 as the lead statistician, where he helped with on-court workouts and with player development.
See what he had to say.
Q: Can you tell us about your experience with the PBC team?
A: Having an opportunity to work at the inaugural PBC in 2017 was incredible. The team did an outstanding job putting together a massive event in its first year. The entire staff was well qualified and passionate to make it a great experience. I am confident the PBC will only continue to grow in its popularity and success.
Q: Can you describe what an opportunity like the PBC represents to not only players, but also to NBA personnel and agents?
A: The PBC provides a great opportunity for young NBA and professional basketball hopefuls. There is great exposure for top-tier talent that may have fallen through the cracks of the collegiate ranks. One of the key aspects of the PBC participants is how accomplished their individual careers have been. There is a wide array of conferences and players represented, and the PBC has done a great job recruiting talent from all over the county.
Q: You are currently a Graduate Assistant for Syracuse Men’s Basketball. What are some of your day-to-day responsibilities?
A: A lot of what my job entails is different day-to-day. Somedays I might be assisting aspects of a scouting report, while other days I might be asked to help workout some of the players at the direction of a coach. I also receive various tasks from our support staff. The biggest advantage I believe I provide is that I can be around pretty much any point in the day. The coaches have so much work to do from both a coaching/recruiting standpoint, while many of them are also trying to raise a family. Being 23 years old, and not having too much responsibility outside of my school work, my goal is to try and alleviate any work that can help them focus on areas that are more important.
Q: How much has your role changed from originally being a manager to now being a graduate assistant?
A: Going from a student-manager to a graduate assistant has been a lot of fun. The biggest advantage of what I get to do now is from a day-to-day standpoint. Being in the office, interacting with the coaches and staff has given me a full picture of the way the program operates. Whether it’s watching film with the coaches, or being in the room when we have a recruiting meeting, I am very fortunate to have an opportunity to see how the staff operate from all aspects of running a program. For someone striving to coach one day, there is not a better group of people to learn from and work with.
Q: What makes the Syracuse Men’s Basketball program unique to you?
A: Syracuse Men’s Basketball truly is a family. From the coaches, to the support staff, to the student-managers, everyone looks out for one another. The unique aspect of the program is that the entire coaching staff has either played or worked under Coach Boeheim before taking on their current roles. A lot of great players and coaches have come through Syracuse Basketball, and the success the program has received over the years is largely due to the passion and commitment they have to the program. To maintain that legacy, and hopefully add to it, is an incredible privilege.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to people who are trying to make it in this industry?
A: Try and work for people you believe in, and work for people who want to help you grow. It’s great to have passion for your work, and I believe you should strive to do work you love every day. But in almost any type of work, relationships are key. You don’t necessarily have to have a ton people in your circle, but fostering relationships with people who share similar values is a necessary for positive growth, and to get the most out of your career.
Q: What made you want to pursue a career in basketball?
A: Growing up, the best relationships and friends I made were through sports. Even now as a graduate assistant, and previously as a student-manager, I have met some of my best friends through basketball. In my opinion, basketball demands the most from a communication and camaraderie standpoint. Forging those relationships through practice and competition is what makes this game so special to me.
Q: How do you define success?
A: I believe John Wooden said it best that "success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."
Quick Trigger Questions
Role Model: My twin brother: Dan
Favorite Quote: “Surround yourself with people who give you energy.” – Mike Hopkins
If you could work in any other sport, what would it be? Baseball
Favorite Movie: The Dark Knight
Favorite Book: The Go-Giver – Bob Burg
Favorite Musician: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Favorite Sports Team Growing Up: Yankees
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.