Joe Graessle's college basketball career is over, but he has not used spring break at Tiffin University to sit back and relax before the final push toward a degree in homeland security in May. Graessle spent his time interviewing agents to find a potential landing spot in a professional basketball league overseas.
Joe Graessle, Tiffin
Joe Graessle’s college basketball career is over, but he has not used spring break at Tiffin University to sit back and relax before the final push toward a degree in homeland security in May.
Graessle spent his time interviewing agents to find a potential landing spot in a professional basketball league overseas.
Covering all the angles, after all, is what helped him become the all-time scoring leader in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference history.
“It has hit me,” Graessle said of scoring 1,575 points in conference play to better the record set by Justin Keenan of Ferris State by 26 points. “I understand what it means. I worked hard for it. I was determined to get it.”
Graessle, a 6-foot-4 senior guard from Ready, scored 2,162 points overall to finish second behind Jeff Ward (2,532) in Tiffin history.
The man, though, is not only a scoring machine. He led the GLIAC in steals the past two seasons and led the Dragons in assists in each of his four seasons.
There also is the durability factor. Graessle started 110 straight games.
“That is a ton of starts, and I’m very proud of that,” he said. “I started game No. 1 as a freshman and kept it up. There have been a lot of positives in my career. The coaches and teammates made it a great experience.”
Graessle committed to Tiffin before his senior year in high school. At the time, he just wanted to hook on with a college because getting Ready to the Division III state tournament was No. 1 on the agenda. He did just that.
Tiffin has been more than a place to play ball and learn. He was on the student athletic advisory committee and worked with the Make a Wish Foundation.
“This town has adopted me,” Graessle said. “It has been a good fit.”
The prospect of getting a chance to play basketball for a paycheck excites him.
“I’m looking for somebody to represent me,” Graessle said. “Playing pro basketball always has been a dream. Tiffin put me in this opportunity. I’m excited for this. You actually get paid to travel the world playing a sport you love.
“I have mixed emotions about leaving the university. But I think I’ll be ready to move on.”Others to watch
• Jack Serbin, Carnegie Mellon — Serbin, a 6-foot-9 freshman forward from New Albany, was voted University Athletic Association rookie of the year after averaging 7.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game.
• Bre Nauman, Tiffin — Nauman, a 6-foot freshman center from North Union, averaged 9.4 points and 6.8 rebounds and started 23 games.
— Mark Znidar