Like many members of the basketball team, Vinny Curta ’19 lives, breathes and poops basketball. His brother, Nick Curta ’17, is currently a forward for the Pioneers and his father also played basketball in college. The S&B’s Editor-in-Chief Kelly Pyzik sat down with Vinny Curta to discuss, in addition to basketball, life as a freshmen and dhall deserts.
So, how is the season going?
It’s going good. We had a couple rough losses, but it’s been alright—could be worse, could be better.
How do you feel about the chemistry of the team this year?
I think it’s really good. It’s built off of last year, there’s a lot of returning guys, and I think there’s a flow already, so I’m lucky to be joining into that.
As a first-year, how was the transition from high school to college basketball?
In high school I actually ran the System, … so it hasn’t been probably as challenging as for some other freshman on the team, but there are a lot of little details that I’ve had to pick up.
When did you start playing basketball?
I started playing basketball probably when I was in first grade, maybe even before that.
What do you think made you stick with it?
My family’s always been around basketball. My dad played basketball, my brother played basketball and all my friends. It was just something to do, it was the only thing we played.
Having played volleyball and golf in high school, what made you like basketball best?
Probably just the pace of play. I guess I just love running the system, so just the fun that comes out of playing.
Did you mostly come to Grinnell to be on the team?
Yeah, I got recruited early in my junior year of high school. I was 100% coming because of basketball, but it was pretty cool because I did early decision, and I had pretty much my entire junior year to check out the academic side of things and really focus in on if I came here, what options I would have with the education aspect.
And how has your academic experience been?
It’s challenging, but I think it’s fun. Adjusting to the workload has been a bit difficult, but it’s not horrible, and all my classes are interesting.
What would you say the basketball team is like as a community?
I think it’s just a group of friends, that outside of basketball may not have become friends, but since we joined this community at Grinnell College, it’s allowed us to come together and be more than friends, almost like a family. There’s no cliques on the team, everyone can go to anyone at any time. It’s a group of large best friends, I would call it.
Do you feel like the team is a good support system for the transition into first year?
Yeah, I think it really helps a lot. Going into school, I already knew 20 plus people and a lot of people who are associated with the team—managers, the coach. I had built up relationships already, … and my brother was already on the team, so he let me know the truths about how hard it was, academically, and what the tendencies of the coach were, stuff like that.
How do you think being on the team changes your first-year experience?
I think that just being involved in something changes it, because you have other people to go to. If I wasn’t on the team, I know for a fact I wouldn’t be doing work with anybody. It would be all solo because I wouldn’t have those trusted relationships with people. But now I can go to anybody and say, “I really don’t understand this, can you help me out?” I’m in classes with a couple of basketball guys, so that’s been pretty fun.
Any standout memories from the year so far?
Probably the first practice and the first pre-game. The first practice, coming out of high school we did things similar because we ran the same system, but just the energy of the guys, you can tell everyone wants to be there and everyone likes each other. Everyone’s for it and everyone buys in. And there are some pre-game rituals that are pretty cool, that I was like, “Wow, this is pretty special.”
Okay, favorite D-Hall dessert?
I really love apple pie.