By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The youngest Division I men’s basketball head coach in the country calls Staten Island, New York, home. 28-year-old Bashir Mason is the now at the front of the program at Wagner College out of the Northeast Conference.
Now Mason should be a familiar name to Philadelphia basketball fans as he was a star guard for Drexel and head coach Bruiser Flint from 2003-2007.
Mason had spent the last two seasons as an assistant to Dan Hurley at Wagner. But Hurley recently moved on to take the head coaching gig at Rhode Island, and that opened the door for Mason to take over.
The Jersey City, NJ native doesn’t hesitate when asked what he wants people to take away when they watch his Seahawks team – which went 25-6 this past season.
“Man, that team plays really hard. They play hard on both ends of the floor. Offensively and defensively, they really play hard.”
He says coaching is a passion for him.
“I love the game of basketball, I love being around the game, I love teaching the game. And then it’s the kids. I really like working with kids and helping them develop and helping them get better. I’ve got a true passion for it and it’s what I get joy from – just being around the game of basketball and kids who enjoy playing basketball and getting better.”
Mason was a great point guard at Drexel at both ends of the floor. He was the first player to ever earn CAA Defensive Player of the Year honors as a freshman and he finished his career with 1,126 points. He’s also second on the Dragons all-time list in steals and third in assists.
Listen to KYW’s Matt Leon’s interview with Bashir Mason:
“My time at Drexel was great,” Mason says. “Bruiser really taught me how to go about my daily life and how to really prepare myself to be good. You couldn’t worry about gameday. If the gameday was Saturday, you had to put in the work Monday through Friday and then Saturday takes care of itself. So he was all about preparation, and that’s the biggest thing I take away from him is just being prepared for everything.”
Safe to say, it has been a whirlwind few days for Mason, so has it settled in that he now is in charge of his own program?
“It seems surreal . . but the work pile that’s on the desk . . . it’s real.”