DODDS Athletes of the Year Ramstein Sublousky’s hard work paid off
June 19, 2008
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Two summers ago, Scott Sublousky faced a problem. He was leaving a big-time U.S. sports program in Colorado to go to Ramstein High School in Germany, and wasn’t sure what to think about the change.
"My first thought was ‘How am I going to be seen?’ " said Sublousky, the DODDS-Europe male athlete of the year for 2007-2008, about how this move would affect his lifelong dream of playing college basketball.
Typical Sublousky: Work harder.
"I decided I was really going to step up my game," he said. "I decided I’d give 110 percent to every workout and every practice. I got determined that I was going to make it happen."
In December — two All-Europe football seasons and one All-Europe basketball campaign later — Sublousky had managed to be seen enough to draw a basketball-academic scholarship offer from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Signing with the NCAA Division II school took place as Sublousky, who graduated from Ramstein this month, was beginning his second All-Europe basketball season at Ramstein.
"I’m really looking forward to taking everything I learned from my coaches over the years and applying it at the next level," Sublousky said. "Sports are my life."
If his college play comes close to his high-school performance, Sublousky is likely to be the talk of the Rocky Mountain region. Last fall, he was co-captain of a Ramstein football team that won its second straight European Division I title. Sublousky, a safety and wide receiver, picked off 12 passes in just eight games and made the All-Europe team on offense and defense.
"Scott has excellent footwork, great catching mechanics and (runs) precise patterns," Royals’ coach Glenn Porter wrote in nominating Sublousky for athlete of the year, "very similar to Isaiah Fluellen … (who went on to letter for the Nebraska Cornhuskers)."
In basketball, Sublousky again made All-Europe, averaging 18.5 points for a Royals team that went 18-1 and didn’t lose until the final game of the season.
"He worked hard on defense and setting up the offense," Ramstein coach Len Tarnowsky wrote in nomination, "and was an outstanding, consistent all-round player."
This spring, Sublousky, who graduated with a 3.8 GPA, led the Ramstein Rockets to the European Biggs baseball title, batting .680 during the season and an astounding .818 in the championship tournament. Coach Carey Tucker wrote of his shortstop, "Scott leads by example, has a great work ethic and made some of the most athletic plays on the baseball field I have ever seen."
But three-sport campaigns weren’t on Sublousky’s mind when he began his stay in Europe.
"I was going to concentrate on basketball," he recalled, "but Coach A [Carlos Amponin, then the Ramstein football coach] asked if I were a football player. I told him I was, and he said, ‘There’s a camp I want you to go to.’ "
The rest was history for the athlete who also is an enthusiastic surfer. At UCCS, however, Sublousky will concentrate on hoops only.
"Basketball’s my passion," he said about his future. "I’m living my dream."
Sublousky, who called himself goal-oriented, said he thought about the athlete-of-the-year award last year, when Wiesbaden’s Evan Watson was the choice.
"I thought to myself ‘If that guy can do it, I might be able to do it, too,’ " Sublousky said.
Still, the materialization of the award caught him by surprise.
"I was blown away," he said. "My dad called me and asked if I had checked my e-mail. He told me I’d been named athlete of the year, and I said, ‘For the school? I knew that.’ He said no, it was for all of Europe.
"I was humbled by being selected from all that talent."