February 16, 2011

Ten Questions with Aaron Osgood

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For this edition of 10 Questions, Sun columnist Katie Schubauer sits down with men’s basketball senior forward and tri-captain Aaron Osgood. They discuss everything from team favorites, nicknames, and costumes.

1. Aaron, you are the senior captain of the Cornell men’s basketball team. What has basketball meant to you over the course of your college career?

It’s been my life pretty much. You wake up and you’re already thinking about practice or the game. You base your class schedule around it, you eat your meals at certain times. It’s a huge part of my experience here.

Has it been a good experience?

It’s been a great experience. Really, really great.

2. Who is your favorite teammate?

My favorite teammate? That’s a tough question. Pretty much [senior] Adam Wire, [junior] Chris [Wroblewski], [senior] Max [Groebe] and I are kind of a foursome, I guess. We’re always around each other, we’re always messing with each other and all that. So I don’t know if I can really give you a favorite. I’d have to say all three.

3. Did you play any other sports in high school?

I played tennis, actually. I also played a little lacrosse when I was a freshman and sophomore.

Were you a “lax bro”?

Yeah, I was a little bit. You know, I was tall, and had some flow and all that, but it didn’t really fit me.

So how did you decide to play basketball in college?

I started playing basketball when I was a freshman in high school because I was a tennis player and I was pretty good. People had been pushing me really hard since I was young but I was just kind of tired of it. I was a head case so I was getting in my own head all the time and I wanted to play a team sport. So I started playing basketball and liked it, and then I grew a lot—A LOT.

So you weren’t always super tall for your age?

No. Until freshman year I was always a little tall, but not crazy tall. Now I’m crazy tall.

4. Do you have any nicknames on the team?

Everybody’s been calling me “Arrow” since I was in middle school because those are my initials: A.R.O. And this year, they started calling me “Oz”—the new coaching staff, that is. I don’t really know if I like it but I’ll take it.

What about this nickname “Salty Banjo”? Care to explain that one?

“Salty Banjo.” It comes from intramural softball. Every year, we get together in a room and discuss nicknames for our team because we all get jerseys and then put them on the back. For some reason, Max decided that “Salty Banjo” would be a good nickname for me because … well, you’ll just have to check it out on urban dictionary. He thought it was fitting because I play guitar, and banjo and guitar are almost the same thing. So I guess he thought “Salty Banjo” would be a good name for me. Other names include Adam Wire’s — we wanted his to be “Gaseous Clay.” Max himself we call “The B.J. Bandit.” It’s just kind of a tradition where everybody gets an embarrassing nickname.

And where does Max’s come from?

(Laughing) I don’t know. You’ll have to ask him about that.

5. One of your teammates has said that he gives you a hard time about “being dirty.” What sense of the word “dirty” is he using there?

(Laughing) I don’t think that teammate really knows what he’s talking about. I mean, my room isn’t the cleanest and I do spread my clothes all about the house, but I think he’s referring to a different kind of dirty. Most of the time when my teammates can’t think of anything else to call me, they just call me dirty.

Do you think the nickname is completely unwarranted then?

I mean, I guess there have been a few times in the past where I have done some grimy things — one involving a Best Western — but who hasn’t? It’s college and you’re only young once.

6. Would you consider yourself a good storyteller?

I can tell a good story now and then, yeah.

I was just wondering because some of your housemates apparently think otherwise.

Something about “Tall Tale” maybe?

Yes. Is that another nickname?

Yes, that was my softball name the year before. I guess they think I exaggerate a few stories here and there which might be true, might not be. But I like to think of myself as a pretty good storyteller.

7. Who would you say is the best in your house at SuperSmash Bros? I know you guys play a lot.

Yeah, we do play a lot—too much probably. I would say myself. I am the best — in my own mind.

In your own mind, I see, but what about in everyone else’s opinion?

Well everyone thinks they are the best, but I know I am the best. I really do.

8. What were you for Halloween this year?

I was Shaggy, part of the Scooby Doo Mystery Gang.

How did you decide on that costume?

I actually went on a date the weekend before Halloween, and I wore a green v-neck on the date. And I came home and my friends were discussing Halloween costumes and they had come up with Scooby Doo. When I walked in and saw me in my green v-neck, it was perfect.

Well was it a good date?

I mean it was a pretty good date, yeah. We got some ice cream — it’s always good to get some ice cream on a date.

So I guess she was a Scooby Doo fan then?

Oh yeah. Big time.

9. So speaking of girls, apparently you tend to get very infatuated with these girls you call “angels.” What’s that all about?

Well there are a few girls out there that just brighten your day when you see them. It’s not all about the looks, but it’s also about the way they act. It’s hard to explain. I guess a comparison would be Elisha Cuthbert before she married the hockey player. Once an angel gets in a relationship, her angel status is revoked. It started a couple years ago when Chris and I responded to some of the older guys hooking up with grimy girls and we wanted to show them the light.

How has this infatuation with the “angels” worked out for you?

Well, in terms of hooking up with the angels, not so good. But I think that once someone hooks up with them, they are no longer angels so it’s kind of a rough cycle. But this whole chasing angels business gives Chris and I something to do, so that’s good.

10. Which other Cornell team do you like to hang out with the most?

This is a tough question because there are a lot of very talented, good-looking women’s teams here. When we’re in season, we aren’t involved in a lot of social activities but in the fall, we had a great time with the track team and lacrosse team. So I’m going to say it’s a tie between those two.

Original Author: Katie Schubauer