By Alex Pacinda
For the Mitzpeh
For alumnus Ben Eidelberg, basketball has been life since he was three years old.
“My parents always watched the game, and so I guess playing from a young age, watching from a young age and continuing that through high school really gave me a love for basketball.” Eidelberg said.
It was this lifelong passion for the game that led him to this university’s men’s basketball team nearly six years ago.
Eidelberg joined the team as a student manager in October 2011 when he was a freshman.
“He got things done, didn’t ever complain or get in the way, and that’s why he was an impact person with the Terps,” Nima Omidvar, director of basketball operations, said. “He is creative and had a great feel for how the program was at Maryland during his time with the team.”
In this position, Eidelberg learned to find a balance between school and basketball.
“I mean I was at every practice and every game,” Eidelberg said. “I started out with filling water bottles, filming practices and rebounding with players, but each year I would get more important responsibilities.”
During his undergraduate career, Eidelberg was a business management major. Despite his hectic basketball schedule, Eidelberg was also an Alpha Tau Omega member, a Robert H. Smith School of Business’ Sports Management program fellow, and a Washington Wizards’ team attendant.
“There were a lot of times I missed out on things because I was expected to be at practice or games or even away on a trip, but I had the type of experiences that most college students can’t say they had,” Eidelberg said.
By his senior year, Eidelberg was appointed head manager, but he knew that he wanted to further his career and education at Maryland.
“With the position of graduate assistant, it was all about just talking to Nima and Coach Turgeon,” Eidelberg said. “During my senior year there were five of them, so I didn’t think the opportunity would even be possible.”
In August 2015, Eidelberg earned the title of graduate assistant for the team and had the chance to mentor a group of student managers.
“I helped breakdown video on our opponents for our video coordinator, prepared pregame opponent statistics, watched postgame film to evaluate our own players performances, coordinated teams meals on the road, helped assists our player academics staff, and helped plan/coordinate special team related events,” Eidelberg said. “And I did I get to help with some scouting which was pretty cool.”
“During his time at Maryland, Ben knew how to manage everyone’s personalities on the staff as well as the team which is why he was such an asset to us,” Omidvar said.
As graduate assistant, Eidelberg worked towards his master’s degree in marketing analytics while he grew closer with the coaching staff and players.
“I think by the end I was able to interact with the coaches on a more personal level, even joke about things that weren’t always specific to basketball,” Eidelberg said. “Plus I was living with the players at the Varsity, and had some as roommates so I was definitely became much better friends with them that year than my previous four years combined.”
Eidelberg knew he wanted to keep his career path centered around basketball, and found the opportunity as a video analyst coordinator with the Washington Wizards. This position focuses on video projects for virtual reality along with front office tasks like analytics and salary management.
“It’s pretty different now. Before, I was on the court every day helping with drills,” Eidelberg said. “I was with the team every step of the way as a manager, but now I’m not on coaching side anymore.”
In his current role with the Wizards, Eidelberg hopes to continue his career in basketball and gain more responsibilities like he did at this university.
“Everyone who works in the front office kind of wants that decision making role, team president, general manager – just keep learning and growing, making it as long as you can to the top,” Eidelberg said. “For me, I just want to eventually earn further responsibility so one day I can really have a voice and that sort of decision-making power.”