By Rowan Shiell
Seton Hall Pirates won 15 of their first 17 games, last season, but faltered during conference play and ended up in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) instead of the field of 68 teams in the NCAA tournament playing for the national championship.
For the coming season they will look to improve on last year’s success. One player looking to expand his contribution to the team will be Manchester’s Aaron Geramipoor.
“When I came to Seton Hall, we had a number of strong leaders both on and off the court… guys like Herb Pope, Jordan Theodore and Jeff Robinson,” said Geramipoor, a rising junior.
“Now that those guys are gone, with this being such a young team, I embrace the opportunity to lead this talented group. It’s important that we teach our young teammates not only about what it takes to be a better basketball player, but how to act professional and be respectful off the court.”
Last season the team was made up mostly freshmen and sophomores and only three seniors. Jordan Theodore led the team in scoring and assists (16 points and 6.6 assists) and fellow senior, Herb Pope, was a double double machine (15.1 points and 10.4 rebounds).
With the graduation of these two players there will be lots of playing time available, especially for the 6’11” former England Under-18 center, Geramipoor, if he can earn it.
The Sports Bank predicts that Seton Hall will finish in the bottom half of the Big East conference but Geramipoor is more optimistic about his team.
“Keep following the Seton Hall Pirates this season. I really think it’s going to be a big season for me and the team. We’re going to surprise a lot of people this year with our play.”
Just because people are not high on the Pirates that doesn’t mean they are doomed. Third year coach, Kevin Willard, recently led his team to an undefeated tour in Spain and the Canary Islands.
In four exhibition games, Patric Auda has shown he can be a big time scorer along with Aaron Cosby. Fuquan Edwin is applauded as a great defensive player and Geramipoor showed promise on the rebounds.
The Canary Islands is familiar to Geramipoor who made a name for himself at the Canarias Basketball Academy averaging 20 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks a game before moving to the States.
“It was a shock. It was really cool reminiscing with old coaches and visiting places we’ve been to and practiced at,” Geramipoor said after his recent visit.
Three other Pirates, Auda, Haralds Karlis and Tom Maayan also played at the Canarias Basketball Academy.
Basketball was given a boost recently in the UK by the Great Britain team playing in the Olympics. They only had one historic victory against China but they gave Spain, the silver medal team, a battle only to lose, 79-78.
Team GB team was paced by Chicago Bull’s Luol Deng (26 points) and Portland Trailblazers recent signing, Joel Freeland (25 points). In four years time who knows if these two guys who are both 27 and 25 years, respectively, will be available for the Olympics in Rio (that is if GB can earn a place outright). Some new blood will be needed. What does Geramipoor think of his chances of making the team?
“Yes, I can see myself playing for Great Britain in four years in Rio. It is something that I aspire to do and will be working hard towards. They invited me to join their under 20 team that competed in the European Championships, but Seton Hall had an exhibition tour of Spain at the same time. It would be an incredible honor to represent my nation on such a high level, but I’ve got a lot to accomplish first these next two years at Seton Hall.”
Image Credit: Seton Hall University Athletics
Join the 8000+ others who follow Hoopsfix and subscribe.