WASHINGTON, D.C. — Darius Quisenberry had a decision to make a year ago: stay at Youngstown State for a fourth season or enter the transfer portal. He has another choice to make this spring: play a second season at Fordham and a fifth year of college basketball or pursue opportunities at the next level.
All over college basketball, players who got an extra year of eligibility because of the pandemic season of 2020-21, are facing the same decision.
“I’ll definitely decide by summertime,” Quisenberry said.
Quisenberry, a Springfield native and Wayne High School graduate, said his decision will depend in part on his health. He hurt his knee during a game against St. Bonaventure on Feb. 8 and missed five games. He returned to play four games but re-injured the knee Thursday in the second round of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament against George Mason.
Fordham won 54-49. Quisenberry started and was scoreless in 21 minutes. The knee bothered him the whole time.
Quisenberry sat on the bench in warmup clothes Friday as No. 8 seed Fordham’s season ended with a 74-56 loss to No. 1 seed Davidson at Capital One Arena. This was Fordham’s third loss this season to Davidson, but the Rams almost earned an upset in the first matchup at Rose Hill Gym because of Quisenberry’s 36 points. They lost 69-66.
Credit: David Jablonski/Staff
Credit: David Jablonski/Staff
Under first-year coach Kyle Neptune, Fordham reached the quarterfinals for the first time since 2015 and finished with its best record (16-16) since 2016 (17-14). Quisenberry led the team and ranked eighth in the conference in scoring with a career-best 16.8 points per game.
“It was great, honestly,” Quisenberry said. “We did a lot of great things here — a lot of things that Fordham hasn’t done in a long time. I think coach Neptune did a tremendous job in his first year as head coach. The whole coaching staff did a tremendous job coaching us up and being positive every day and having a glass-half-full mentality, bringing energy every day to practice. The first year for me here, all in all, was great.”
Quisenberry won an A-10 Player of the Week Award in January. He was the first Fordham player to win the weekly honor since 2017.
“He’s an unbelievable kid,” Neptune said. “He’s a fighter. He tried to give it all he had. I didn’t think there was any way he was coming back this season after St. Bonaventure, and for him to give it all he had and come back and get hurt again, I know he’s really down right now. I really can’t say enough good things about him.”
Quisenberry was a three-year starter who scored 1,213 points in three seasons at Youngstown State. He made the All-Horizon League first team as a sophomore and junior.
Quisenberry announced March 11, 2021, nine days after Youngstown State’s season ended.
“It was tough leaving a place I called home, but think with me graduating in three years, I just needed different challenges and to push myself a little bit more and expand my horizons and see what else is out there.”
Quisenberry earned a degree in sports management in three years by taking 18 credit hours per semester. He also had a head start because he took college classes while in high school. Last April, Quisenberry announced he would transfer to Fordham.
“I went through a lot of schools, talked to a lot of different coaches,” he said. “I think it was just the natural bond me and (assistant) coach (Keith) Ergo and coach Neptune built through the recruiting process. Just talking to them about the plans they have for me on and off the court as a man and also as a basketball player, I think that helped me make my decision.”
As a graduate student this year, Quisenberry has worked on a master’s degree in business and marketing. His goal once his college career is over is to play professional basketball.
“That would be a blessing to be able to do that,” he said. “I thank God every day for allowing me to be on this platform with basketball to glorify him.”