By Senaya Savir
Anticipation and excitement. These are two accurate descriptions to illustrate the feelings among the University of Maryland community and the men’s basketball team.
Jacob Susskind from West Orange, New Jersey, is especially excited. The senior point guard came to play for the Terps as a walk-on player his freshman year from Golda Och Academy, where he was listed as one of the Top 50 Players to Watch by the Newark Star-Ledger before his senior year of high school.
Susskind takes after his father Jeff Susskind, who played for Muhlenberg College. When making the decision about where he should go to college, he said he was drawn to this university because of its high-spirited atmosphere.
Susskind is a double major in accounting and finance, a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi and the only Jewish player on the team.
“I talk about the Jewish religion with my teammates because they don’t know a lot about it,” Susskind said. “It’s great to learn about my teammates’ background as well as teaching them about mine.”
When asked about how he juggles being a student and athlete, Susskind said that although time management is difficult, playing against some of the best players in the country, and being part of such a great team is an extremely rewarding experience that he would never trade.
Susskind is enthusiastic about the level of play the team is going to bring to his senior season.
“This is the best team yet, and we are definitely going to surprise a lot of people this year,” Susskind said.
Looking back at his past three years on the team, Susskind said one particular moment stood out. “Beating Duke and rushing the court was probably the best experience I’ve ever had.”
The game took place during his sophomore year where he was named captain for that game, and for the remainder of the season.
In the midst of all the excitement, Susskind tore his anterior talofibular ligament while playing recreationally. Although he is only 80 percent recovered, he will still be able to play in the upcoming season.
As the start to his final season approached, Susskind couldn’t shake off the strange feeling of being a senior. He remembers what it felt like to come in as freshman and look up to the seniors in complete awe of how they handle themselves both on and off the court.
“It’s crazy to think that I am now that senior that these young guys look up to,” he said.
While the exhibition games have started, Susskind and the rest of the team will start the regular season on Nov. 14.