Georgia Tech Basketball: Behind the Scenes with a Student Manager

Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

Recently-graduated student manager (and member of the FTRS community) Ivi Hoxhaj took a few minutes to discuss his experience with the basketball team with us. Enjoy!

What sports did you manage?

I managed men's basketball.

What types of tasks did it involve?

Duties involved scheduling other managers go ensure 5 at every practice, setting up practice, helping with drills, going to every game, setting up for the game 3 hours before and breaking down the game after, travel with the team to every away game, as well as various smaller duties during and before and after games.

Were you paid or on scholarship or otherwise compensated?

Yeah that's one of the great things about working for the athletic department. I was on athletic scholarship, I got priority registration, and I got lots of great benefits. Like traveling and free clothes and meeting great alumni and other people.

How much time did you spend interacting with players?

I would probably spend 15 or so hours a week with the players so we didn't really hang out much outside of basketball.

Were you in on any happenings that didn't quite make it to the media, or didn't make it there entirely? How did the SID/coaching staff handle that?

Not really. You guys find stuff out pretty fast. I actually get most of my news from Chas. Other times we hear things from the players, but that's not often.

Were there any interviews or prerequisites to be a manager? Is it a thing where once you're in, you're in, or do you have to keep interviewing to get selected again?

Yeah they interviewed me and then there is kind of a probationary period where if you don't like it you can quit. But once you keep going they ask for a year long commitment. Other than that no other interviews.

What were some of your favorite memories from it, or some of the coolest experiences?

My favorite is definitely the two upset wins that we had. Beating Miami at Miami when it was ranked was a great feeling. Bearing Syracuse at the Carrier Dome was a great one as well. Other great experiences were things like getting to meet Bobby Cremins and speak with him a bit. Also getting to see multiple NBA players up close and personal has been amazing.

How often are "famous" folks like that around campus? I'm sure it varies by the individual, but is it a weekly occurrence or something that happens sparingly or what?

I would say it happens pretty often. Not a every week kind of thing but it happens more often than not. Its usually old Coach Gregory players or old Georgia Tech players to come back and see us and such.

Did Coach Gregory know your name? What were interactions with him like?

Coach Gregory definitely knew my name. Sometimes from yelling it in practice when I forgot something, sometimes when we would pass by and he would ask how I was doing. My interactions with him were always great. He is a great teacher of the game, very professional, but also light-hearted and kind. Immense desire to win. Immense desire to shut down opposing offenses and put our guys in the best position to win and be successful. Great coach.

How much time would you say the job took on a weekly basis during the season? Did it ever interfere with study plans or class attendance or anything?

Once the season is really underway if there are two games that week we have practice the other 5 days. So I would roughly be there 5 or 6 times a week. I would have to be at all the games and I would try to be at least to half the practices. It is definitely a time crunch. Especially during spring semester when the games are so close to each other and you are travel once or twice a week it can definitely get in the way. Communication with my teachers was huge and they were all, for the most part, very understanding.

Thanks to Ivi for sitting down and talking with FTRS about his job as a student manager, and offering such cool insights into the basketball team!

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