Photo Courtesy: NY Post
Robert Sacre: NPH #4-Ranked NCAA Prospect
SPOKANE, WA– Perhaps the only thing bigger than Robert Sacre is his personality. Blessed with an admirable basketball frame at seven feet tall and 260 pounds, the man known for his fiery intensity and strength on the court is renowned for being a joker when he is away from the hardwood.
“There’s no question I like to use my humour whenever I can,” says the Vancouver native. “I like to stay positive because life’s too short to be angry all the time.”
Whether going to war in the paint or alleviating tensions in the locker room with a joke, Sacre is the anchor for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, a perennial powerhouse in the NCAA’s West Coast Conference, and an annual staple in the NCAA Tournament.
After only playing a supporting role for his first two seasons at Gonzaga, Sacre has stepped to the plate to not only establish himself as one of the team’s best players, but its emotional leader as well these past two years.
For those who know Sacre’s background, it’s no surprise how far he’s come. The son of a former NFL tight end, and a mother who was an NCAA basketball player, athletic excellence certainly runs through his blood.
Coming out of Handsworth high school, Sacre was a relatively raw talent, but his size and dedication to basketball kept him squarely on the radar of many schools. After committing to Gonzaga, Sacre displayed an iron will as he pushed himself daily to improve as a player.
“I never took time off, and I never went home when I had an opportunity to hit the gym and work on my game,” Sacre explains. “I was always in the gym, working hard every day and staying focused.”
The hard work paid off by Sacre’s junior campaign, when he broke out and put up 10 points, five rebounds and almost two blocks per game. He took his level of play up another notch last year as a senior, averaging over 12 points, six rebounds, along with two blocks per contest, earning himself a spot on the All-West Coast Conference team.
Sacre’s improvement caught the attention of Basketball Canada, earning himself a spot on the Senior Men’s National Team at the 2010 World Championships.
Sacre says the experience was a great boost for him, as “it showed me how hard the guys at the highest level work to stay at that level.”
With international experience and four years of NCAA play under his belt, Sacre is looking forward to the challenge of captaining the Bulldogs as he returns for his fifth and final season. He will be charged with helping continue Gonzaga’s consistent stretch of winning seasons, a challenge he willingly embraces.
“I’m just looking to stay positive with my teammates, and try and keep the younger guys honest. We are hungry to win, and it helps that we all like each other on this team. It allows us to push each other and keep everyone accountable.”
And if times get tough, captain Sacre is there to offer some brotherly love. “Sometimes if we are going through a hard stretch I’ll try and cheer people up – like wear a teammate’s shorts to practice, and they’ll be too small for me, but I’ll wear them anyway. Just to crack guys up and keep things loose. Then when everything’s alright, you go right back to staying on each other and working hard.”
Another example of Sacre’s humour is the greeting left on his voicemail, imploring you to “stay thirsty my friends”, after the famous Dos Equis beer commerical.
Aside from working on his Masters Degree in Sports Management, Sacre is currently working on improving his post moves and being more assertive on the glass, which will continue to ensure that nobody outside of Gonzaga is laughing when he steps on the court. And while an NBA or possibly high-level European basketball career certainly awaits Sacre, he tries not to think about that too much as he caps off his NCAA career.
“I’m just trying to play until my body can’t go any more,” Sacre tells NPH. “Until then, I’m going to continue giving everything I’ve got.”
You better believe Robert Sacre always stays thirsty.