Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sam Givens- An All-Around Ballplayer

Sam Givens is a senior forward for the Academy of New Church (PA) Lions, and the Drexel Dragon-to-be has a versatile game. At 6'6, Givens can play down low, yet he has a good enough handle to bring the ball up the court like a guard. His younger brother, Shannon, is also a member of the ANC Lions, and their father, Kevin, is the team's head coach. Sam spoke with me after the team beat the Chargers of Timber Creek to kickoff the games on Saturday at the Prime Time Shootout.

NB: You guys had a pretty good game out there. At the beginning . . . it was a close game, Timber Creek was in the lead. How’d guys come through and end up with the win?
SG: We came out a little sluggish because it’s early in the morning, so everybody was a little tired. One we got warmed up and got into the game, we knew we were going to pound it inside an take it over, because they [are] smaller than us. So we were going to give it to Larry [Loughery] and me all game, and then let us dictate the game.

NB: It seemed like you and your brother, Shannon, had a very good rapport, . . . you guys were finding each other [and] communicating well. Is that just from playing [together] for so long, or does it take special effort to get along so well with your brother?
SG: No, we’ve played with each other for a very long time. Every league he played in, I played in. It’s just like a brother connection sort of.

NB: You guys have the distinction of being the only team to beat St. Benedict’s thus far. They beat St. Patrick’s last night [and are] top five in the country, so you guys are clearly a good team. What went into that victory over St. Benedict’s a few weeks ago?
SG: We came out hard. I think they . . . underestimated [a little] what we had, and when we came out on fire, they were a little shocked at what we could do, and we just kept attacking them, and we just kept pushing and pushing it, and then we came out with the victory.

NB: Do you guys . . . feed on being the underdog, on being the team that no one expected to win that game?
SG: Sort of, but we knew in our hearts that we were a good team, so we just played hard and work hard everyday at practice and we [are] just going to keep going.

NB: Do you have any goals for the rest of the season, with it being your senior season, your final year in high school?
SG: Oh yeah, we got to win our league championship and we got to win the state championship, so that’s what we [are] looking forward to.

NB: How’d you pick Drexel over all the schools that were looking at you? What went into that choice?
SG: They have [James] “Bruiser” Flint, he’s a real good coach, and I like the school and I like the players, so I thought it was a good fit for me.

Givens should be a good fit playing for the Dragons in the CAA. Sam has a well-rounded game, that will be a great help to Drexel, a team that is struggling this year, after a solid season in 2006-07. As Sam mentioned, he wants to win a league and state championship in his final high school season, and he may be able to win another league championship or two at Drexel. If Givens continuing to grow and hone his skills, he could turn into a phenomenal player.

Note- photo is from

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