By Laura Amato
It didn’t end the way he wanted, but Charlie Marquardt wouldn’t change his four years at Molloy College for anything in the world.
After all, his basketball career has always been a bit of a family affair.
Charlie and his father, Molloy head coach Charles Marquardt, have been the driving force behind the Lions’ success over the last four seasons. The father-son duo out of Rockaway Beach has helped jump-start the program.
And while Molloy came up short of its ultimate goal this season – falling to Saint Thomas Aquinas in OT of the ECC final March 5 – the Marquardt duo has had the time of their basketball lives.
“It’s meant everything to me,” said Charlie, who wrapped up his career with a record-breaking 51-point performance. “I mean, that’s my father and it’s really a once in a lifetime experience. I just look to him every day and try to be half the man he is. It’s been great.”
Charlie didn’t always plan to play his college ball for his father – he had interest from a handful of Division I schools and several other Division II offers – but he grew up in the Molloy gym in Rockville Centre and when the time came to make the decision about the next step in his career, there was really only one choice.
I was close to the guys on the team before I came here and then after my official visit, I knew this was the right place for me to grow athletically and academically,” Charlie said. “How could I not go to a place that was such a good school that I had been around my whole life?”
Not much changed for the Marquardt family that first season. If anything, Charles was even harder on his son than he was on any of his other players, determined to make sure Charlie earned every minute he saw on the court.
“It’s definitely been a different dynamic,” Charles said. “My focus has been on treating him just like everyone else and that’s really something that I have to ensure.”
Charlie came into his own as a junior, setting a program record with 88 three-pointers, breaking the 1,000-point scoring mark and leading the team in scoring. He only added to that this winter. The senior guard broke his own three-point record with 90 shots from behind the arc and averaged 21.9 points per game.
Charlie, very early on, was able to separate his skills from others,” Charles said. “I think it would have been harder if Charlie was not able to contribute or it was, maybe, a situation where his contributions weren’t obvious. But that never really came to light and with each year, his role became bigger.”
The Marquardt family has always been about basketball. Charlie grew up with a ball his hand, fine-tuning his jumpshot, and he doesn’t see that changing any time soon.
It’s been a memorable four years, filled with on-court highlights and, even, a few disappointments, but neither Charlie nor Charles would change a thing. They’ve grown, both in the game and as father and son and, now, they’re anxious for what the future has in store for them.
“I’m graduating and I’m looking to continue to play basketball,” Charlie said. “If everything falls into place and it’s meant to be, then hopefully I’ll be able continue.”