Former Syracuse student manager returns to Carrier Dome for final time

first_imgStephen Goldsmith couldn’t resist the tedious chores: mopping the floor, folding towels, refilling water bottles and rebounding. A freshman student manager in 2015-2016, he fell in love with the gig that’s since defined his college years. The grunt work makes him feel part of a team, and while student managers are rarely credited for their efforts, they work 20, 30 and 40-hour weeks out of the public eye to ensure programs run smoothly. But after one year at SU, Goldsmith’s done the same chores in a new place. At SU, he earned a 4.0 GPA so he could get into to his dream school, Boston College, in 2016, when he met with Eagles head coach Jim Christian. He joined the student manager staff — a vital cog in high-major basketball programs — and returns to the Carrier Dome on Saturday afternoon in Syracuse’s (16-7, 7-3 Atlantic Coast) 2 p.m. matchup with BC. At Syracuse, student managers prepare cups, tissues and gym. They rebound for hours. They wipe the spot on the floor to rid the sweat, and one manager always gets head coach Jim Boeheim his pregame and halftime Pepsi. Said senior point guard Frank Howard of a manager’s impact: “If the program’s a car, they’re like the oil.”Stephen Goldsmith as a freshman student manager for SU in 2015-2016. Courtesy of Stephen GoldsmithAdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I loved Syracuse,” Goldsmith said this week. “As a manager, you do a little of the little things nobody notices until they don’t happen. It can be a grind. Lots of standing, long practices, and you have to have a good attitude even in losses.”Before the Syracuse-BC matchup last week, Goldsmith stood under the basket corralling rebounds as sweat poured from his skin. Time and again, he anticipated the trajectory of the ball — rebounding is one of a manager’s biggest points to master — and fed passes to players on the perimeter, including star junior guard Ky Bowman, with whom Goldsmith said he’s closest.Before that, Goldsmith had prepared the pregame locker room, laying out towels, getting Christian his markers and players their warm-up jerseys. He organizes and rebounds during game-day shootarounds five hours before tip-off. He’s learned not to leave out the details, including the fact that “European players don’t like ice in their water because they’re not used to it,” he said. He’s learned which players show up for extra work before practice, and which ones stay late. Goldsmith is there for both. Every day, he arrives to the gym around 11:30 to set up. He doesn’t leave until 3:30 or 4, well after practice. He’s in the gym for about five hours on practice days, and up to nine or 10 hours on home game days. “New managers are excited to work for an ACC program, get the gear,” he said. “The hours are crazy. It’s less sleep, little school work, and a lot of practice time. You question, ‘Is it really worth it?’ You have to keep a positive attitude. How can I encourage the guys, bring up the energy in the gym?”Stephen Goldsmith throws passes pregame of the SU and BC matchup last week.Josh Shub-Seltzer | Staff PhotographerGrowing up in Western Massachusetts, Goldsmith attended Boston College games with his father, a BC alumnus. He cheered on the Eagles, whose players signed his T-shirts and sneakers. Now he’s on the team bench of the team he idolized, enjoying the present while looking forward to next season, when he can get back to cheering for BC as a fan again. “It’ll be nice to watch as a spectator for once,” Goldsmith said. “Hopefully I won’t be thinking of all the things you have to do.” Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img Published on February 9, 2019 at 10:13 am Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21last_img read more