The thing that I love most about sports are the underdog stories. You know, the kind that they make movies like Rudy about. That one bright spirit that continues to chase his or her dreams to the very end.
I’ve found a new underdog story in college basketball. Yanni Hufnagel loves basketball so much that he did not give up on the game even after being cut from his own high school varsity team. He loved the game so much that he stayed on as the teams announcer before venturing off to college from his home in Scarsdale, New York.
He was able to play lacrosse at college but quickly give it up in order to intern for the New Jersey Nets. He continued following his passion as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma where he befriended NBA star Blake Griffin. Jim Capel, the head coach at Oklahoma, saw Yanni Hufnagel’s great potential for recruiting and recommended him to Harvard University.
At Harvard, Yanni Hufnagel was really able to shine. His recruiting skills were so good that he overcame the fact that Harvard University does not issue athletic scholarships nor does the Ivy League school reduce its academic standards for athletes. He put together the school’s first Ivy League championship team that went 79-24 in his four years and in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His time at Harvard made him good friends with Jeremy Lin.
Since Harvard, Yanni Hufnagel has been bouncing around the country building his resume. He increased Villanova’s three-point percentage with a stellar recruiting class that included two NBA draft picks. He put together a top five recruiting class for the University of California, Berkeley. Now he is waiting to take over his own college program while working as an assistant and recruiter at the University of Nevada at Reno.
Read more about Yanni on his About.me profile.