ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The transition to college basketball doesn’t seem to be bothering Scotia graduate Joe Cremo.
“Cremo probably surprised me the most,” University at Albany head basketball coach Will Brown said.
A pleasant surprise for both his coach and teammates.
“He’s become the guy that nobody likes to play against, but they all like to play with,” Brown said.
Because who’s the hardest worker on the team?
“Joe Cremo. I can’t say enough,” senior guard Ray Sanders said. “He’s in the gym every day, man. You literally have to go in there and pull him out the gym.”
And who’s in the best shape?
“To be honest, Cremo,” senior guard Evan Singletary said. “While somebody else is huffing and puffing, he’s telling them to get up.”
“Everybody’s tired except him for some reason,” Sanders said. “I don’t really get that.”
But it’s because Cremo puts the work in.
“I always think what’s given to me is earned,” he said.
So Cremo goes to the gym at six o’clock every morning to work out on his own before practice later in the day.
“I’m still trying to get better in every aspect of the game,” he said. “I never try and settle.”
Which has earned him an endearing title.
“He’s a gym rat, so whatever he needs to work on, he’s gonna get in the gym and work on it,” Singletary said.
Which has also earned him the respect of his teammates. Even more so because while he fights for playing time, he doesn’t expect it.
“Individual numbers haven’t ever meant anything to me,” Cremo said. “You can ask any of my teammates that, past and present; it doesn’t matter. All that matters at the end of the day is whether or not we get the win.”
And so the gym rat has another title – one handed down by his coach.
“He’s a winner,” Brown said.
Brown said he’s monitoring Cremo because every freshman hits a freshman wall at some point, and Cremo works harder that most players his age.
Brown worries that Cremo will wear himself out because he doesn’t understand the grind of a college season quite, yet. But for now, the coach says his gym rat is ahead of schedule.