By: Lisa Hannon
Three – what seems to be the lucky number for this Camden County College basketball player.
His specialty – shooting three-pointers, has landed him third in the country in the three-point shooting percentile. That ability has also helped the college’s team to place third in the country this year in defense.
Joseph Santone, 20, is an articulate, second-year student at the college. Officially, his major is hotel and resort management; unofficially, his major is basketball.
He enjoys other sports like football and golf, but Santone says he has been playing basketball as long as he can remember and started on an organized team in the third grade (there’s that three again.)
Although Santone says that playing basketball professionally is definitely a dream of his, his sight is set on coaching – preferably at the college level.
Transferring to a four-year college to earn a bachelor’s degree is also in the future, with a concentration in playing basketball – what else.
His favorite basketball player of all time is Jameer Nelson, a guard for the Orlando Magic.
“Nelson works hard, and keeps calm,” both of which are important qualities, not just as a basketball player, but as a person as well, Santone said.
A shooting guard for the Cougars, Santone’s excitement was apparent when he spoke about playing in the semifinals against Passaic Community College.
On Feb. 25, the score was 95 – 72 when the final buzzer sounded. The team advanced to compete for the Regional XIX National Championship on Feb. 27 against Ocean County Community College.
The Cougars played well, but Ocean County prevailed with a 74 – 55 win. The last time a team from Camden County College won the Region XIX championship title was in 1994.
According to the college’s athletic coordinator/coach’s assistant, Terry Damminger, this year’s men’s basketball team is comprised of not only great athletes, but great students as well.
Her pride is apparent when she says that, “The team plays as a family; they share the wins and the losses. There is no one star.”