Jack Serbin seeks strong finish to fantastic collegiate run

Senior forward Jack Serbin looks to finish his career strong against UAA rival Case Western Reserve University. (credit: CMU Athletics) Senior forward Jack Serbin looks to finish his career strong against UAA rival Case Western Reserve University. (credit: CMU Athletics)

With one final game left to play in his Carnegie Mellon basketball career, senior forward Jack Serbin is ready to finish with a bang. A leader on the Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team, Serbin leads the team in points per game (17.2), rebounds per game (11.6), and assists per game (2.2). “It’s been a blast and I’ve loved every second of it,” he said in an interview with The Tartan.

Growing up in Columbus, OH, Serbin has been playing basketball since the first grade along with several other sports, including baseball, football, and soccer.

It wasn’t until high school that he made the decision to focus solely on basketball. Serbin had always wanted to play basketball at the collegiate level.

He came to Carnegie Mellon because of the opportunity to play and to be in the Tepper School of Business’s finance program. “I was kind of able [to hit] two birds with one stone by coming to Carnegie Mellon,” he said.

Balancing academics and basketball, especially with a traveling schedule, has been really hard for Serbin.

“I’ve been balancing sports and school my whole life, but never really realized how hard it can be,” he said. “You need to manage your time really well.”

Earlier this month, Serbin was named the University Athletic Association (UAA) Athlete of the Week for the third time this basketball season. He attributes his success to his teammates and coaches. “They’ve helped me so much throughout my career to not only become a better player but a better teammate. If it weren’t for my teammates I wouldn’t be able to do what I do on the court. It’s really all to them.”

For Serbin, mental toughness comes with practice and experience. Because he has played basketball his whole life, he has faced almost every court scenario imaginable and draws from his experience to make split-second decisions. “Being mentally tough comes from experience, having been there before, knowing how to act and how to keep your composure. Especially for me as a senior mental toughness comes with time and experience.”

After graduation, Serbin will be working for a private equity firm in New York City. “As I enter the professional world, I’m not too worried about having a good career. I think that will take care of itself as I work hard.” Serbin hopes to stay in touch with his teammates and the friends he has made here at Carnegie Mellon. “I want to maintain those relationships as I get older because at the end of the day I think that relationships with your friends and your family are way more important than any success you may have in your career.”

As Serbin rounds out his basketball and academic careers at Carnegie Mellon, he reflected on how great the experience has been, and how much he’s loved playing basketball here. “If I could go back and do it all again I’d do it in a heartbeat.” At the same time, he is also excited to see how the team develops in the coming years. “I’m excited to come back and cheer on the team,” he promises.

Even though after graduation he will not play basketball competitively, Serbin says basketball will continue to have a presence in his life, and plans to join a league wherever he ends up. “I love playing the game,” he said. “I plan on playing for as long as I can.”

Serbin and the Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team will conclude their 2016–2017 season this Saturday, Feb. 25, at UAA rival Case Western Reserve University.