Academic All-Star: Joe Nocciolino

By Brendan O'Reilly

July 22, 2010 Updated Jul 16, 2007 at 2:36 PM EDT

" When you step on the field and you don't have the intensity and the competitive nature to beat your opponent, it's not worth getting on the field. With basketball especially, it's such an intense and fast-paced game that if you want that edge, what you lack in skill, what you lack in height and physical ability, if you make that up with competitive nature and heart it'll balance the playing field," says Joe Nocciolino.

If Joe Nocciolino had a personal slogan that might be it.

In class and every sport season, every game and every practice he wants to be the best.

"He's competitive at everything he does. Whether it's cards on the bus with the guys or in practice or in class, he wants every extra point in the classroom and he wants every single call on the court. He's very competitive, but in a good way," says Golden Bears Head Coach Ryan Hayes.

That competitive fire was stoked by growing up with three older sisters.
And it may just help in his career path, something he discovered in some rare down time.

" I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do the past few years. But I was sitting on the couch one night after doing homework and turned on the apprentice and I had heard a lot about it but I had never watched it before. It was then that I realized all the facets of business, the competitive nature of it that really interested me. It was then that I realized that's what I wanted to do," says Nocciolino.

He competes to be the best in class, and his grade point average of 100.8 shows that.

He's been sidelined with an ankle injury, but as always tries to be the best injured player there is.

" There's no other way to do it in my mind. If you're going to do something you should do it to the best of your ability. To sit there and just pout if you're not playing or sit there and be quiet and not take a leadership role on the court you're not performing to the best of your ability," says Nocciolino.

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