Have You Met Michael Zangari?

UABSPORTS.COM Michael Zangari
Michael Zangari

Nov. 5, 2013

I WAS RAISED IN Harrisburg, Pa. I love living there. I grew up originally in a small neighborhood and everybody was always playing outside. It seems like people don't do that too much anymore, but it was basically what we did. We always hooped.

I STARTED PLAYING BASKETBALL WHEN I WAS in first grade, but I have really been playing all my whole life. I was tall, so everyone was just like `You're tall. You have to play.' That's what got me started. I just love sports in general and it seemed like basketball was where my brightest future was and that's the one I just set my mind too and I stuck with it.

WHEN I PLAYED BASKETBALL AS A KID I had fun. It's still fun, but over time it became like a job. Back then it was just a kid living a game. I pretended to be everyone. I still pretended to be people. My dad always loved Charles Barkley. He always used to have me watch Charles Barkley when I was younger and that's why I wear number 34 too. I still play some Nerf hoops in the house with my little brother and pretend I'm Steph Curry or Kobe, so I don't think it ever stops.

MY FAMILY IS amazing. They have always been there for me. They all always want to come to my games. They came to all my games in high school. They all wear shirts with my number on it and they just get so excited to watch me play. It's amazing how much they have supported me through the years.

WHEN I FIRST MET COACH LEBO it was amazing how comfortable I felt around him. The biggest thing in my recruiting was that I definitely felt I could play for this guy right away. He seemed like was he being honest with me and he seemed like he would be fun to play for. He was a big name back at home being from Carlisle High School, which was right around the corner from where I am from so I always knew the name. It was kind of cool to finally get to meet him.



I CHOOSE TO COME TO ECU BECAUSE of coach Lebo and the guys. I came down on my visit and I felt so comfortable with coach. He seemed like someone I can be excited about playing for. The guys on the team just welcomed me so much. I felt like I was part of the team before I even committed here. I thought I could really see myself here and there were no awkward situations on my visit. We all just goofed around and had a good time right from the beginning.

ONE THING I LEARNED MY FROM FRESHMAN YEAR THAT WILL HELP ME THIS SEASON is listening to the coaches. Looking back on it, it seems they were right about everything they told me.

THE BIGGEST PART OF MY GAME THAT I WORKED ON OVER SUMMER was using my left hand. Last year it wasn't even there and now I feel like it's just as good as my right.

WINNING THE CIT TITLE LAST YEAR WAS indescribable. Winning at a high level like that it is something that a lot of people don't get to experience in college or in the pros. They don't get to end there season with a win and a championship. It was one of the best moments of my life.

I'LL NEVER FORGET when the shot went in to win the CIT. It was just amazing. It was funny because it seemed like it was in slow motion. The second Akeem let go of the ball I knew it was in; I was focused on how fast I could get to him.

PLAYING AT MINGES IS: I don't know if I can give just one word for it but we have some of the best fans in the country and that place always seems to be rocking especially at the end of the year. I am excited to start back up and play there Friday. It's one of the best things about ECU.

THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON IN MY LIFE HAS BEEN my father. He has always been there for me and has always done whatever he could to help me be the best I can be. He has always been there to push me and probably been the hardest on me, but it's probably for a good reason. Now I am just trying to make him proud.

ONE THING EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ECU BASKETBALL IS that we are a scrappy group and we're always going to play hard. I don't think we are going to play another group that is going to put in as much effort as we do. Every team is going to get 110 percent from us.

IT WILL BE A SUCCESSFUL SEASON IF we win the conference. We won a postseason tournament last year and I feel like you have to win something or do something better the next year. I think the next thing for us to do is win the conference in our last year in C-USA.