In the team’s season opener against Cornell, redshirt junior guard Yosef Yacob stepped into a 3-pointer and drilled it. It marked his first bucket in over a year.
Yacob missed the entire 2015-16 season with a shoulder injury. After a long recovery process, he was thrilled to return to the court.
“It felt great to come back,” he said. “It was hard just being sidelined, and just being back on the court with my brothers is just a great feeling.”
As a freshman, Yacob averaged 11.5 points per game, good for second on the team. He had another solid season his sophomore year. He played in all 32 games, finishing with 5.8 points per game. While the injury kept him out of action for a year, he is back to being an impact player for BU.
“Whichever way I can help the team, that’s what I want to do,” Yacob said.
In his first three games back this season, Yacob played limited minutes. But in BU’s fifth game of the season he was let off the leash, playing 25 minutes and scoring 13 points.
He then put up a season-high 15 points two games later against Long Beach State. Yacob’s encouraging regular season showing is a step in the right direction as he tries to recapture his freshman-season form.
Although Yacob’s redshirt gives him another year of playing in the Events Center, he will have to say goodbye to two seniors with whom he entered BU. Guards John Rinaldi and Marlon Beck were in the same recruiting class as Yacob and were his roommates for three straight years.
“It’s definitely going to be different; it’s going to be weird,” Yacob said. “I’ve been with those guys, we came in together [in] the same session … and I’m going to miss those guys.”
The three were the first recruiting class for BU head coach Tommy Dempsey. Yacob knew once he visited BU that it was the place for him.
“When I came here and saw the school and the campus and [Dempsey’s] vision for it, I fell in love,” he said. “I fell in love with the school.”
Unlike most Division I basketball players, Yacob hasn’t played since a young age. He got a late start, not playing competitively until the seventh grade.
As a senior year at Archbishop John Carroll, he led his team to the Pennsylvania state title game, finishing his high school career with 1,139 total points. Yacob credits his work ethic to his brother, Henok, who pushed him to be successful.
“[My brother] is the one who told me if you work at it you can be good,” Yacob said. “I went from not being known to [having] a DI scholarship. I don’t know where I would be without him.”
With the impending departure of Beck and Rinaldi, Yacob will hopes to step up and assume the leadership role on the team next year. Yacob knows his time at BU is coming to an end, but hopes to continue to build on what he’s accomplished this year.
“I’m looking to just step in and just give it my all every day,” he said. “When your time starts to wind down, you realize how precious coming on the court is and how quick the time goes. So I’m just going to enjoy every second of it next year.”