Editor’s Note: This article is part of a weekly series that the Beaver County Times will publish every Tuesday called “Campus Report,” in which sports reporter Barth Upadhyaya will meet former Beaver Valley High School stars who are now in college ranks.
After years of patiently waiting for their turn, it’s safe to say that Dom and Gabe Samangy haven’t come to the conclusion of their high school basketball career that they envisioned.
It was the winter of 2017, and a pair of Central Valley High School seniors — and a twin — were injured. Dom suffered a ruptured ACL in the Warriors’ first fight of the year against Lincoln Park. Gabe missed a good portion of the time after separating his shoulder in the team’s opener versus Westinghouse and hasn’t been healthy all year.
Although those challenges were hard to deal with at the time—especially for Dom, who was sidelined throughout his last season of high school basketball—they admit that they wouldn’t be where they are were it not for those tough times. .
Now, the brothers are in the final phase of their time as Division I student heads – Dom with Syracuse, and Gabi with St. John.
It’s kind of nice looking back at it,” Dom Samanji said on a recent Zoom call with the Beaver County Times. “Obviously I didn’t wish it[the injury]would happen. But it kind of led me to start thinking about my future in basketball and how I wanted to continue it.”
“Even though I was still playing, I knew I wasn’t playing in college,” added Gabi Samanji. “So, I had an idea in my mind that I wanted to be around a team.”
After Dom underwent surgery for a torn ACL during his first season in Central Valley, it didn’t take long for him to once again become a regular present at the Warriors’ practices and games. He’ll find any way to contribute to the team: smash movies, mentor younger players, and just be an extra voice to the coaching staff. He wanted to “see what life is like off the court” while he was still around basketball.
“I realized how obviously I (still) love the game and that I wanted it to be my profession for the rest of my life,” Dom said. “I remember as soon as I got up and walked (after recovering), I was watching the movie… I was watching every match. I actually ended up writing my own match reports to give to my coach, which, at times, can be two pages long.”
Although Gabe did not have the opportunity to gain the same level of work experience during his time in Central Valley, he also wasn’t ready to move away from the sport he grew up playing after high school.
While Dom became principal as a freshman at Syracuse in fall 2018, Gabe took the opportunity to be in the same position at St. John’s prior to his sophomore year in summer 2019. He was awarded a full scholarship prior to this semester.
The two brothers have career goals after college that align with what they’ve done in their programs over the past four years as well.
Dom hopes to work with the data analytics department for the NBA team. More than two months after graduating, he has already given “two” job interviews with the teams as well. Gabe wants to move up the training ladder and one day be a head coach at a college or professional level.
For now, though, the Samangy twins are looking to make up for lost time.
“We talked about being alumni assistant coaches somewhere together,” Dom said. “I don’t know if that would happen, but we were always joking about the reunion.”
Contact Parth Upadhyaya at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter pupadhyaya_.