Athlete of the Week: Dale Minschwaner, Senior, Men’s Basketball

Since his name isn’t Jeremy Lin, Tim Tebow, or Tiger Woods, the odds of senior Dale Minschwaner appearing on ESPN were strongly against him. Factoring in that he is an athlete at a small Division II school in the mountains of Golden, Colorado, the limit of this probability rapidly approached zero.

But even those odds couldn’t keep the 6’6″ basketball player from the national airwaves, when Minschwaner’s posterizing “monster dunkface” appeared on ESPN’s SportsNation in early January 2012. The national attention was the first time that Mines had scratched the surface of the sporting world in nearly three years.

“I thought it was pretty cool,” said Minschwaner with a smile. “I didn’t know it was going to be on, and I remember getting a bunch of calls from everyone, even from back home in Albuquerque, saying, ‘Dude, you’re on ESPN!'”

And the historical season for Minschwaner, currently in his final year as an Oredigger, was just beginning. One month later in a home game against Colorado Mesa, Minshwaner converted an alley-oop from teammate Brian Muller to record his 1501st career point, becoming just the 12th Oredigger in CSM history to eclipse the 1500 point mark.

Now Minschwaner is helping to anchor and lead a men’s basketball team that is witnessing unprecedented success, soaring to a 24-2 overall regular season record (20-2 RMAC) and climbing to number three in the national ranking — the highest in program history. The year before Minschwaner arrived in Golden, the Orediggers finished a rough 8-11 in conference play, and 15-14 overall.

For his successes and leadership throughout his career as an Oredigger, Dale Minshwaner is this week’s Athlete of the Week.

[Oredigger] What did it mean to you to break the 1,500 point mark?
[Minschwaner] It was pretty cool to have my name in the history books, but really, it’s just a number, it’s more about the wins. I’d rather have the most wins in school history than anything else.

Favorite CSM Basketball memory?
Definitely this whole year, beating Adams State and cutting down that net with my teammates.

If you had any free time, what would you do?
Probably just relax and watch TV and watch a bunch of movies all day.

What other activities do you enjoy?
I like hiking and fly fishing and things like that. And, I mean, we couldn’t live in a better area for stuff like that.

Do you have a favorite NBA team?
Not really. I follow the NBA a little bit, but it’s not really basketball anymore, it’s more of just entertainment now.

What’s your opinion of Jeremy Lin?
I do like Jeremy Lin. My dad went to Harvard, and he knew of Jeremy Lin before he made it big. He was sending me updates back when [Lin] got drafted and was traded to Golden State and Houston and stuff. But it’s crazy, if you go to Harvard I think you’re like, twice as likely to become president of the United States than play in the NBA. I think there were like 10 presidents from Harvard and only four NBA players, or something like that.

(Lin is the fourth Harvard graduate to play in the NBA. The most recent was Ed Smith in 1953. Eight US presidents have graduated from Harvard including Barrack Obama and George W. Bush)

Favorite NFL team?
I love the NFL a lot, and I love the [Miami Dolphins]. If we could get Peyton Manning or even trade up for RG3 (Robert Griffin III), that would be great.

What’s the best part about being a student athlete?
Definitely the camaraderie, for sure. I couldn’t ask for better teammates, they’re some of the best guys I know and fun to be around. And I guess just the experience of it all. I know that not many people get the opportunity to play college sports.

Nerdiest thing you have seen on campus?
Definitely that zombie game. I have watched people trap kids in buildings and I saw one guy jump on another person’s car just to get away from a zombie, or whatever.

Favorite class taken at Mines?
I enjoyed thermo, which is weird, because I know everyone is supposed to hate it. But I understood most of the concepts, Romberger was a great teacher, and it was just a fun class.

Least favorite class taken?
Ugh. Fluids I. I just couldn’t understand it. It was just terrible.

If you could change one thing about Mines, it would be…?
Not so much hard homework or hard tests. There is no need to have the average of a test in the 50s or 60s, because then no one is really learning the material.

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself if you could re-do your time at Mines?
I would say work harder freshman and sophomore year, and take it all in. Don’t get too busy focused on the next year and the next thing ahead. Don’t take it for granted.

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