Esposito has Tigers hanging around playoffs

Eric Esposito has become a starter for the Holy Family basketball team. Photo: Stephen Pellegrino Photography

Eric Esposito does a lot for the Holy Family University men’s basketball team.

And when you watch the team warm up before games, you can hear what he does for the team, too.

We’re not just talking about the help and guidance the sophomore gives to his teammates during the layup drills, either.

“I love music, I love listening to it,” the forward said. “I actually did do the music for us. I did it mostly because I didn’t think anyone else would want to do it, but I love doing things like that. It’s great, you have to get music you like. It helps.

“Any song to warm up to? That’s tough. I like a lot. I think Travis Scott would have to be on there. Anything that gets everyone ready to play.”

That’s not the only way Esposito helps the Tigers. He started the season as a reserve, but shortly after the year began, he became a starter for Tigers and he’s been rewarding them nicely.

The Langhorne native and Conwell-Egan High School graduate is averaging 14 points a game and 8.2 rebounds per game. It’s a huge improvement from last year, when he scored about five points a game and pulled down about four rebounds per game.

The improvement is noticeable, and it’s not an accident. That improvement started at LA Fitness near the Oxford Valley Mall.

“I played a lot over the summer, every day, I just went out and tried to improve,” Esposito said. “I worked on getting faster and stronger. I would lift and work out a lot.

“I would play up there, too. There’s great competition up there. A lot of those guys can play. That’s where I put in all the work to get better.”

As Esposito has improved, so has Holy Family.

And while the Tigers aren’t having a great year, the team is on a two-game winning streak to improve to 9-17 on the season, 6-11 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.

Their latest game was an 89-84 victory at city rival University of the Sciences. In that one, Esposito had his eighth double-double of the season and second in as many games with 18 points and 13 rebounds. He also handed out six assists, blocked two shots and grabbed two steals.

This year has been a transition year for Holy Family, with Father Judge grad Ryan Haigh taking over as head coach. Haigh had spent eight years as an assistant coach, but this is his first year running the show.

It has been a learning experience for the team, but things are going much better.

“We’re playing better all the time,” Espositio said. “We have some really good players, we’re just learning to play together. We have new guys, young guys who are doing pretty well. And we have new guys playing key minutes. We’re getting better.”

Last year, even though it was his first year at Holy Family, Espositio played with some familiar faces.

Also on the Tigers roster a season ago was  Patrick Robinson, who graduated Conwell-Egan with Esposito in 2018. He’s no longer with the program, and while they remain good friends, he’s getting used to playing with the new troops.

“I talk to Patrick all the time and he’s doing great,” Esposito said. “It was great to play with him, and he’s still doing great. We miss him, but we have great players. We have great guys here.

“It was great to have him here last year, it helped. It helps when you have someone you know, but now I know all of the other guys and I love playing with them.”

Esposito has grown close with this year’s squad, which is led by senior Branden Aughburns, of Queens, New York, who leads the team in scoring at 16.7 points per game, and junior Devon Moore, of Hanover, who is scoring about 13 points per game. Archbishop Ryan grad Jerry Weiss is also on the roster, and while he’s just a freshman, he is starting to contribute.

“We’ve gotten a lot better since the season has gone on,” Esposito said. “I feel a lot more comfortable. I didn’t start in the beginning, but once I got in, I started playing pretty good and I’ve been starting ever since. It’s gone good so far and it is only getting better.”

Esposito is starting to figure it out off the court as well.

A strong student, he entered Holy Family as an early education major, but now is focusing on sports management. His hope is to some day work in sports, possibly as a journalist.

And he’s willing to put in work in the classroom just as he’s done on the court.

And he believes his Holy Family days are just getting better.

“I’m going to keep trying to get better,” Esposito said. “I love playing for Holy Family. We have started to win some big games, and it’s only going to keep getting better.”

As long as he keeps spinning the right tunes.