For Matt Karpowicz, it’s always been about one thing.
A 6-foot-8-inch, 250-pound junior from Wellesley, “Karp” starts at center for the Williams College men’s basketball team, which is 13-0 and ranked third in this week’s d3hoops.com national poll behind Nebraska Wesleyan (13-0) and Augustana (13-1).
Karpowic is averaging 11.7 points per game, up from 9.0 last year.
The graduate of St. Sebastian’s School in Needham loves the game and continues to find ways to improve.
But Karpowicz’s love of sports is not limited to the basketball court. Last summer, he handled marketing tasks and gave pregame tours for the Red Sox at Fenway Park. It was a humbling opportunity for him to learn about the business side of sports.
In the fall, Karpowicz handled the public address duties for Williams College home football games. His excitement and energy poured through the microphone.
Athletics have been a constant in Karpowicz’s life and his greatest passion. He cleared a few minutes to chat with the Globe.
Q. What’s enabled you to be successful this year, and what’s your favorite part about being on the team?
This year it hasn’t been too much of a difference. I’m starting, but the minutes haven’t changed (18.8 minutes per game). Over the summer I really matured. I started taking basketball more seriously, eating better and getting more sleep, and just the confidence that comes with my third year . . . We’re [13-0], I can’t remember being anywhere close to that. It’s not just the winning it’s who we get to win with. This is the closest team I’ve ever been on from individual relationships to team relationships to coach relationships. We’re playing for each other.
Q. What’s been the greatest challenge for you as an NCAA athlete?
A. Practices in college are so much different than high school. You can coast [in high school] because the talent gap was a lot wider. In college it took me a little while to understand you have to show up to practice every day with a game mentality and focus on how you can get better individually and how you can get better as a team. This year I’ve been a much better practice player. I’ve seen from my own practice perspective how much you can get out of practice, to do it every day and empty the tank every day, you have to improve every day throughout the year.
Q. What was your favorite part about working for the Red Sox last summer?
A. Giving pregame tours of Fenway Park and batting practice to fans and families who won them as a part of giveaways or contests. I’ve been to Fenway a 100 times, but getting to see the joy and excitement in people experiencing it for the first time reminded me what I love about sports and the Red Sox so much.
Q. What’s it like being an announcer at Ephs’ home football games?
A. The previous PA announcer was one of my teammates who graduated last year and recommended me to [Williams sports information director] Dick Quinn. Obviously it’s only small college football, but just to be part of the production and presentation of bringing the game to people and their experience has been really cool especially considering how much I’ve always valued great commentators and play-by-play voices growing up. There were a couple calls where I found myself standing and screaming into the microphone.
Q. Do you want to work in the media after you graduate?
A. I’ve always known I’ve wanted to work in sports for the longest time. I thought it would be sports media. Bill Simmons has always been one of my role models. This summer, seeing all the other aspects of sports business really opened my mind to it all, [and] I’m still interested in media and sports more than anything.
Q. It seems like you really love sports. Could you talk about the combination of playing a sport and working in sports media and how that feeds your passion for sports?
A. It’s one of those things I don’t think I’ve had time to reflect on too much, as long as I can remember sports have been a part of my life since I was 3, 4, or 5, I knew it was always something I’ve wanted to do. For me it’s always been living in the moment and taking it one day at a time. I’ve very grateful, there’s a lot of stuff I still want to accomplish and when it’s all said and done, I’ll look back and see what a ride it’s been.Alex Bensley conducted this interview. He can be reached at email@example.com.