Catching Up With Armin Omanovic (Lasell Men’s Basketball)

Armin Omanovic has the Lasell men's basketball team headed in the right direction. (PHOTO CREDIT: Lasell College Athletics)
Armin Omanovic has the Lasell men’s basketball team headed in the right direction. (PHOTO CREDIT: Lasell College Athletics)

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Lasell College senior Armin Omanovic has enjoyed an impressive start to his senior season, earning a pair of Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) honors – his most recent weekly accolade came last Monday, December 5th – while leading the team in points (244), trifectas (28) and free-throws converted (64).

Most recently, Omanovic guided the Lasers to a pair of wins last week, including an impressive victory over Keene State – the program’s first since the 2013-14 season.

Lasell heads into the holiday break 6-3 overall, but 3-0 in league play. The Lasers  return to the court next month when they host Rivier in a GNAC clash on Thursday, January 5, 2017.

Before Omanovic departed campus to celebrate the holidays with friends and family, Noontime Sports caught up with the Wilkesboro, North Carolina native to discuss his team’s first half of the season.

Your team wrapped up the first half of play this past weekend against Amherst. Tell me about that particular contest and the fight your team displayed from the opening tip? 

We knew that they were ranked number one in the country, but  did not focus on that. Instead, we tried to come out and play our game because we knew if we played our game, we can beat any team in the country. Amherst jumped on us early with a big lead, but we chipped away at it and made it a game until the end. I was very proud of my teammates’ efforts.

It’s been an exciting start to the season – from your perspective, how has the team improved each day/week? 

We come in every day with a focus to get better than we were the day before.

Your team claimed some impressive wins recently, including victories against Johnson & Wales and Keene State. How will those games help the team moving into GNAC play next month?  

Its gives us a lot of confidence knowing that if we play the way we should, we can achieve our goals for the season.

What’s something unique or special that many fans don’t know about this particular Lasell squad? 

We have a cast of characters on this team and I love it. Many people don’t know how truly close everyone is with each other and that’s what makes playing with them so fun. Win or lose, we still are a family.

It might sound cliché, but who taught you how to shoot a basketball? 

I taught myself how to shoot a basketball. I use to wake up every morning before school when I was younger just to work on my jump shot.

What do you enjoy more: driving for a layup or shooting a three-pointer? 

I like driving for a layup. Nothing is more satisfying than being a smaller guard and finishing against a tall defender.

Who has been a teammate – either past or current – that has helped you improve, both offensively and defensively? 

Brent Cowles has helped me elevate my game over the past few years. We have been teammates before and he taught me all the facets of the game. Without him, I couldn’t be the player that I am today and I am truly grateful for it.

Through nine games this season, Armin Omanovic leads the Lasers in free-throws converted. (PHOTO CREDIT: Lasell College Athletics)
Through nine games this season, Armin Omanovic leads the Lasers in free-throws converted. (PHOTO CREDIT: Lasell College Athletics)

Did you have any family members or siblings that played basketball in college (or high school)? 

No, I am the only one in my family that plays basketball, but they all love to watch.

Tell me about your major – how did you choose it and what do you hope to do with it? 

I am an applied mathematics major with a minor in communication. My high school math teachers made such an impact on me that I decided I wanted to purse a similar career and help students the same way they helped me. My main goal is to open an orphanage for kids in Chicago and be able to show them that you can succeed no matter what obstacles you face.

Outside of basketball, what clubs/activities are you involved with on campus? 

I have been involved with a special fundraiser back home with my best friend Christian Hurt, which is called Heal the Hurt. At the end of every year, we raise money for a young boy or girl or a group of children in need by hosting a charity basketball game.  Attendees pay $5 at the door and the event features a lot of my former and current college teammates. We have raised over $10,000 over the last five years and continue to help children all over the world.

Favorite basketball player of all-time is …? 

Kobe Bryant.

Favorite movie of all-time? 

Remember the Titans

What was the last book you read for pleasure? And would you recommend it? 

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. And I would recommend it to everyone because it portrays essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, recognizing opportunities and most importantly, follow your dreams.

Favorite food? 

Steak and cheese sub.

Three songs you listen to on a game day? 

“Déjà vu” by J. Cole

“I can” by Nas

“Love hate thing” by Wale

Finally, what do you love most about playing basketball at Lasell?

My teammates and coaching staff – they make playing basketball  (at Lasell) so enjoyable. The love and support they have for each other is indescribable. I wouldn’t be half the basketball player without every single one of my teammates and coaches. The bonds I have with my teammates and coaches will never be broken and I am excited to see how the rest of the season plays out.

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