All for one

It wasn’t just words, Glasper was just as happy as a role player or as a star. That can be seen by his basketball statistics. Over two seasons, Glasper managed only 93 points (3.1 points per game) and averaged just over 1 assist and 3 rebounds per game and just under one steal per game. Blue Knight coach Bob Lasbury said that the numbers don’t really show his impact on the team.

“He was probably one of the most gifted athletes that I’ve ever coached. It wasn’t just his physical abilities. He brought an unbelievable passion and intensity to our team,” said Lasbury. “Defensively, he could lock up anybody. It didn’t matter if they were taller than him because he was so strong that he could push guys off the block if he needed to. He had the ability to jump and rebound. He caused havoc for the other team.”

Glasper said that he loved the challenge. “The guy that gets glorified is that guy that gets 20 or 30 points per game, but that wasn’t me,” he said. “My role was to lead by example, play with heart, play hard, and play my role. I was supposed to rebound and get the ball to those guys that can score. Not everybody can be in the spotlight at all times, but you can still play an integral role in the team.”

It was no surprise when college scouts began to show up on the sidelines. Newspapers broadcast his potential. Coaches touted his gifts, and Glasper used that as motivation on and off the field.

“It really forced me to elevate my game,” he said. “If I wanted to be seen as a division one athlete, I had to play like a division one athlete. I tried to work hard and be the best player that I could be.”

In the end, Boston College rose to the top of a very prestigious list as Glasper was the first one to sign a letter of intent in what would prove to be a superstar class. Seven teammates went on to earn spots on NFL rosters, including former Atlanta Falcon quarterback Matt Ryan.

“People knew that he had speed, but it was his competitive edge that allowed him to excel. He developed a great work ethic,” said Kelly. “I remember when he went up to Boston College for an interview with the admissions people. They were surprised that he was only absent from school one day at high school. It was those kinds of things that set him apart.”

Glasper was the only one of his classmates to earn a spot on the roster as a true freshman, and he went on to start in 29 of his 45 collegiate contests. Over the course of four seasons, Glasper anchored the Eagle defense with 177 tackles and six interceptions.

“It was a great experience. I definitely had a chance to play with some great competition,” he said. “It was so fast that I couldn’t figure it out at first. Thank God I was able to adapt relatively quickly. Coaches hate to see a guy that makes mental errors. They don’t mind if you get beat physically. There isn’t much you can do about that. But if you’re blowing coverages, not executing your assignments, or missing signals, they have zero tolerance. That’s where I excelled the most.”

His efforts earned him a try-out for the New York Giants, but he was never signed by an NFL roster. Glasper went on to a short career with the Canadian Football League and returned to the Blue Knights for a short stint as an assistant coach.

It was no surprise that Southington Sports Hall of Fame officials announced that Glasper would be inducted into the local sports hall of fame. On Thursday, Nov. 14, he will be honored in an induction ceremony at the Aqua Turf in Plantsville.

“I just want to be remembered as a team player. Whatever my role was, I was willing to do it,” he said. “Everything I did was for the greater good of the team. Sometimes that comes as a greater sacrifice. You’re not always going to be glorified. Sometimes, you have to take a back seat and let somebody else shine. I feel good about anything I did to let other guys get ahead. It’s a righteous passage.”

To reserve tickets, contact Jim Verderame at (860) 628-7335. To comment on this story or to contact sports writer John Goralski, email him at jgoralski@ southingtonobserver.com.

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