Quaker Basketball’s Shining Star: Zack Rosen

Basketball standout Zack Rosen is listed at a generous 6’1”, but since arriving at Penn four years ago, he has been the undisputable Big Man On Campus. His full heart, dedication, and unselfishness have helped position the Quakers back on the road to glory.

Rosen’s senior year can best be described in seven words: unanimous Ivy League Player of the Year. The Quakers finished the regular season 19-12, including 11-3 in the Ivy League. Averaging 18.6 points per game, Rosen led the Ivy League in conference scoring for the second straight year, and set Penn records for assists and minutes played.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Rosen was the co-valedictorian of Newark’s famed St. Benedict’s Preparatory School, and guided the Gray Bees to a state title in 2008.

Universities with higher athletic profiles, such as Villanova, George Washington, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Louisville, showed interest in the tenacious point guard, but he ultimately chose Penn.

Rosen’s freshman season was far from the Quaker norm, as the team finished 10-18, and 6-8 in Ivy League play.

Through the tough losses, Rosen showed his true grit, starting 27 of the 28 games. He averaged 8.1 points per game, grabbed 3.4 rebounds, and led the Ivy League with 5.0 assists. For his feats, he was named the Big 5 Rookie of the Year.

Rosen’s sophomore campaign began with change, as Penn replaced Coach Glen Miller after seven games with former Penn basketball star and Big 5 Hall-of-Famer Jerome Allen. Rebounding from a winless start, the Quakers never quit, upsetting No. 22 ranked Cornell at The Palestra. Rosen led the Ivy League in scoring, dropping 17.7 points per game, and led the Quakers with 124 assists. He was a unanimous First Team All-Ivy selection.

Penn nearly cracked .500 during Rosen’s junior campaign, finishing 13-15, and an even 7-7 in the Ivy League. Rosen led Penn with 14.3 points per game and 152 assists, making him the first player in Penn history with more than 100 assists as a freshman, sophomore, and junior.

Text by Greg Johnson
Video by Kurtis Sensenig