By Troy Mauriello
When former Cardozo star Tareq Coburn made his decision to transfer because he was unsatisfied with his playing time and unclear of his future at St. Bonaventure, he kept his recruitment process from high school in the back of his mind.
Just over a year ago, multiple schools made their pitches to the PSAL basketball standout as to why he should be a part of their program. However, one of those pitches stuck with Coburn even into his second recruitment process.
That’s why, despite interest from schools as far as New Mexico and as close as Manhattan, Coburn decided to transfer to Hofstra.
Citing a multitude of reasons for his decision, Coburn first noted the familiarity that he already has with the program; namely, some of the current Hofstra players. Coburn and current Hofstra junior guard Justin Wright-Foreman played against each other numerous times each season in high school. Wright-Foreman attended the High School for Construction.
“I’m excited to play with Justin. Me and Justin have been friends for a really long time,” Coburn said. “All through high school, we played against each other, so it’s pretty cool. He already knows me a lot.”
But Coburn’s familiarity with the Pride doesn’t end with his high school battles with Wright-Foreman. He also noted that Hofstra was one of the only schools recruiting him this time around that had actually seen him play in high school and knew what he is capable of on the court.
“I know a couple of players and the coaches since they recruited me when I was in high school,” he said. “So they know me a lot more than any other school, and that was a big key. Because other schools showed interest, but they hadn’t seen me play.”
Now, Hofstra coaches will get to see Coburn lace up in person once again, this time donning the Pride’s blue and yellow colors. Additionally, Coburn’s family will once again be able to attend a majority of his games, something they weren’t able to do at St. Bonaventure.
The western New York school is nearly a six-hour drive from Queens and his family wasn’t able to make the long drive every home game to see him play. But Hofstra gives him the chance of to play in front of some familiar faces.
“Really excited, being able to, not this year, but to play in front of all your fans and friends and family,” Coburn said. “So it motivates you to do well, especially since every night you have a lot of people watching you.”
The reason for that “not this year” is, of course, the NCAA transfer rules which require a player to sit out a year when transferring from one program to another.
Coburn, however, is not letting this year go to waste. In fact, he’s using some of his experience from a forgettable freshman season at St. Bonaventure to help his teammates at Hofstra improve next year.
Coburn noted that playing just over two minutes per game last year allowed him to see what it’s like to spend a majority of a game on a bench, something that he did not experience at Cardozo as one of the top players in New York City.
“I understand what you’re going through when you sit out, because I did it last year at St. Bonaventure,” he said. “So I understand the little things that you need to do and that everybody needs to do to be successful.”
Along with helping his teammates be successful, Coburn will make sure to do everything that he can to make sure that he is ready when his time comes to step on the court.
“Definitely taking advantage, getting up a lot of shots,” he said. “Just getting a lot better, adjusting to this system really quick, so that when I’m able to play, I’ll be on to everything right away.”
Off the court, Coburn boasts a 3.6 GPA and plans to work as a physician’s assistant, like his mother, if basketball does not work out after college. Hofstra offers a program that fits his needs to achieve those academic goals as well.
“I’m definitely trying to be a professional basketball player,” Coburn said. [But] you can’t really be dependent on that, and if not, I have a plan B.”