Hassan Hussein prepared for the challenges ahead

Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics

By Steven Melendez/Staff Writer

 

The FIU Basketball season is just around the corner and there are returning players ready for the opportunity to show what they could bring to this team.

Hassan Hussein is a 6-9 junior forward with plenty of heart and determination to help this FIU team win games. A team like FIU, who is bringing in a lot of new players, needs a guy with experience like Hussein that can teach them what to do on and off the court.

“Just knowledge of the game, and more cases than not stuff off the court like scheduling,” said Hussein. “Biggest thing coming in, especially when I was a freshman, was time management. Specifically, how you manage your classes and tutoring sessions while also trying to get that extra work in.”

Hussein took the unconventional route to his first full season with the FIU Panthers. In his freshman season, Hussein appeared in 12 after missing the first 11 games to injury. In his sophomore season, Hussein was only able to play in two games after having season-ending foot surgery. Last year he came back stronger than ever and was able to play in 23 of the 31 games as he was worked back into the lineup.

“It felt great. Obviously, things happen in life for a reason, but it was just good to get out there,” responded Hussein. “Makes you cherish every second on the court and practice, so it felt good to get back out there and get a rhythm and help the guys out.”

Now that he gets a full offseason to work on his game, Hussein took advantage of the time he had to get better overall.

“My goal even before I came here was to be the most versatile player I can be, so just being able to play inside and out. I’ve been working on my jump shot, ball handling and post-up game so I can be as consistent as possible.”

When it comes to goals for the season, Hussein is expecting his team to be there when the conference tournament comes around. After missing out on the C-USA tournament last season, his drive and determination to get back to the top is clearly there.

“End goal for all of us should be to get to that date, March 10, 2018, in Texas for the conference championship. As a competitor, no matter what sport I’m playing in, if you don’t set those expectations for yourself you’re in the wrong business,” replied Hussein. “Just before that is take it day by day and get better every day.”

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