Academic all-star by day, power forward by night, Sven Stammberger is Dalhousie’s “poster child” for student athletes, says coach, Rick Plato.
After starting with the Dalhousie Tigers basketball team in 2013, six-foot-six Stammberger is now the third leading scorer in the Atlantic University Sport conference and second leading rebounder.
Plato said Stammberger’s three point shooting and leadership is instrumental in the team’s success.
“If I had a whole team of Sven Stammbergers, I’d have nothing to complain about because the kid essentially does nothing wrong,” said Plato.
When he’s out of uniform, Stammberger’s studying for an MBA. He also does volunteer work with Special Tigers, a program working with children who have cognitive disabilities, and the Student Athlete Mental Health Initiative, keeps up his G.P.A and solves Rubik’s Cubes.
Saint Mary’s Huskies competitor Brent Martindale said after playing against him, he doesn’t recognize Stammberger off the court.
“He’s like the Clark Kent of AUS basketball, in the sense that he’s a normal guy on the daily, and then when the buzzer sounds and it’s time to go, he turns into another person,” said Martindale.
Plato described Stammberger as a quiet player who leads by example. He’s honest, hard working, a good student and cares about his teammates, said his coach.
Stammberger said he feels just like every other student athlete. Balancing school and basketball is about organization and looking ahead, he said.
“It’s definitely something you have to switch on and off,” said Stammberger. “The basketball court is not the library.”
He added that there needs to be a routine.
“School, basketball, everything else,” said Stammberger.
Stammberger, who “grew up in a gym” moved to Halifax in 2003 from Bonn, Germany. His mother played professional basketball in Germany, and he spent the first 10 years of his life playing on the sidelines of her practices. He said his mother is his biggest inspiration.
“Seeing her play as a kid, you know that’s kind of where I got the love of the game,” said Stammberger.
Stammberger hopes to follow in his mother’s footsteps and return to Germany to pursue a career in basketball. However, his MBA is his current priority.
Stammberger said it’s not always easy, but he is always working to improve and trying his best.
“You won’t find a more gentlemanly, honest player,” said Plato. “He’s just an unbelievable kid.”