[stag_dropcap font_size=”50px” style=”normal”]L[/stag_dropcap]ast week, Delia Zanoschi and Tum Preugpaibul (RCs) announced the winners of the inaugural HBS exceptional athlete awards, an initiative they started this year to recognize the best athletes at HBS. This week, Delia and Tum interviewed HBS Class of 2016 basketball winner Daniel Fisher in a compelling Q&A.
DANIEL FISHER: Basketball
SECTION D, OAKLAND, CA, USA
What are the key areas that have carried you to winning titles?
Work ethic. This is my thing. I would spend hours in the gym. My idea of a good time on a Saturday night was either running in the hills overlooking my parents’ place or sneaking out to the gym of a rival high school that always seemed to be unlocked.
Skill set wise, I was always a very good jump shooter. It is kind of a lost art in basketball. You don’t really see too many people who can accurately shoot 14-18 feet away from the basket. My coach helped me develop that into a competitive advantage on the court.
Last thing was just taking a lot of pride in what me and my team were doing.
What is one of the greatest lessons you learned?
It’s okay to fail. Even though this institution—that is, HBS—tries to tell us that it’s ok to fail, the fear can still be paralyzing. You got to get through it. At the end of the day, failure makes people more resilient. It’s certainly done that for me.
What is the best memory you had of basketball?
It was in my senior year in high school. We were an okay team. We won about half of our games. But somehow we managed to play well enough to make it to the section tournament. We won our first round game. In the second round game, we were not supposed to win at all. We were supposed to get beaten by 10 to 15 points. The game came down to literally the last 9 sec. This guy pump faked and ended up scoring on me and one of my teammates, putting them up by 2 points. We called a timeout. In the huddle my coach just looked at me and said “Danny, go for the three.” I came in, dribbled up the court, spun to my left, jumped as high as I could and made the shot. We ended up winning by one point.
I think that it gave me kind of a medium through which I could express my work ethic. Growing up, it gave me an active self-esteem. I think that particularly being in an environment like the one we’re in, it’s hard to slow down and hard to focus on what you are doing, to be present. That’s what I am working on.