February 18, 2014 January 2014 Male Athlete of the Month
Courageous, competitive, fierce and strong are all characteristics of Andre Batte, Harrisburg native, and January’s Athlete of the Month.
Criminal justice major Batte plays as a point-guard, and has taken on the position of being one of the very few veteran players on the Knights' team.
Batte mentions that this year brought many challenges, but his main focus is keeping everyone on the same page and to make sure that everyone is happy.
“To make the team happy, I tell them that everything is all good.” says Batte, “Don’t pay attention to the statistics, pay attention to the game. Winning is our main goal.”
Being that the team is dominated by freshman athletes, the veteran players look at the younger ones as their little brothers. Batte shares that the entire team has a strong relationship, on and off the court. They are a unified, athletic and fierce team who powers through adversity.
Never having a father figure around while he was growing up had definitely put a damper on Batte’s life. He says that when he met Head Coach Dave Baker, the empty space where his father should have been was finally filled. Batte explains that he never had anyone to talk to, especially when it came to basketball; the sport that he loved so much.
“I was always on my own when it came to basketball,” says Batte, “I felt like my challenges at home are channeled on the court. It doesn’t affect me negatively. It actually helps me. I turn my negatives into positives whenever I hit the court. My family problems motivate me to do better. The basketball court is my place to vent.“
When bringing up the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) championship game, Batte got excited. He proclaimed that this year would be Central Penn’s year in winning the championship.
“We worked hard.” Batte exclaims, “I know we’re going to the championship. I’ll admit, we did have some battles and hardships, but we got through them. We overcame them!”
Before each game, Batte prepares himself physically and mentally. He starts his game day off with a healthy breakfast and lunch from Scoozi's. He listens to music to put himself in the right mindset. Then he says a prayer and begins his routine stretches. The very moment before he steps on the court, he kisses his index finger and points to God.
“I kiss my finger and point to the heavens to remember my aunt.” says Batte, “She passed away from breast cancer. I know that she’s watching over me. She is the reason why I play. I am playing for her.”
Batte has been playing basketball since the fourth grade and wishes to become a pro-athlete after college. He has attended Harrisburg Eastern Invitational camp and Five Star Training camp, where he received the highest award for most outstanding player. His dream is to play for the New York Knicks or the Orlando Magic. Batte is inspired by retired professional Allen Iverson because of his heart, dedication and passion for the sport.
By Jade Harper, Student Reporter