By Vince Gasparini | February 24, 2023
University at Albany basketball alumnus Matt Cerruti has recently taken his talents to Kansas to play for the Wichita Sky Kings of the minor league basketball association, The Basketball League (TBL). Although he only spent the 2021-22 season with the Great Danes, the 6-foot-6 shooting guard developed a considerable amount in his year playing at UAlbany.
Cerruti with the Great Danes during the 2021-22 season.
Photo Credit: Jay Bendlin
“One of the biggest things that I learned there is how to make a routine,” Cerruti said. “As a shooter, I think it's really important to get warmed up in the correct way. A lot of people will just go out on the court, start throwing the ball around.”
Cerruti attests the UAlbany coaching staff as having been integral in his progression as a basketball player.
When looking back on his experience as a Great Dane, Cerruti thinks back to what made him decide to go to the school initially. “I've heard great things about them just through the basketball world,” Cerruti said. “They promised that I would have to work when I got there in order to get a spot and that's kind of what I was looking for.”
After playing for Division II school Lock Haven, Cerruti transferred to UAlbany for his final collegiate year last season.
Cerruti notes that one of his fondest memories from playing basketball for UAlbany was the team’s win against Boston College last season. Getting a Power 5 win with them was a huge accomplishment for him, especially considering the fact that he had built such a strong bond with his teammates.
Cerruti always made sure he was helping anybody on the team who needed it. “I just try to communicate, talk a lot,” Cerruti said. “Remind them that these days are part of just work, you know, have some bad days along with good days and we're here as teammates to help you through that so whatever they need I'm there for.”
Cerruti was looking to prove himself as a Division I basketball player, just as he is now professionally with the Sky Kings. He notes that one thing that has helped him through progressing through different levels of basketball has been consistency.
“I've always been trying to be a consistent person. So no matter what environment I'm in, I've been trying to be very consistent, be the same type of person,” Cerruti said.
Being a shooter who posted a 44.6% mark from behind the arc at UAlbany last season, Cerruti makes note of his best spots on the floor when it comes to shooting threes.
“A lot of guys like the corners or top of the key, but something about the angle from the wing I just really like, and it feels natural for me so if I can get the ball in that spot, I feel pretty confident in my shot,” Cerruti said. “I have a good feel for when the shot is open or when it's not and you know, it kind of just once I get the ball it's just I let everything naturally take over from there.”
He also makes sure to be aware of what he thinks he needs to improve on, having spent a lot of time in the offseason improving his ball handling skills. While already known for his three-point shooting, he looks to be a more versatile component of the team while he plays for the Sky Kings.
Between graduating from UAlbany in May 2022 and signing with the Sky Kings in December, Cerruti tried out for the Indiana Pacers’ G-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, and played pro-ball in Luxembourg.
“It was a cool opportunity to get to see a little different part of the world, meet some new people,” Cerruti said. “ I would tell anyone if they had the chance to definitely try it.”
Cerruti hopes to keep taking his talents to higher levels, but he tries not to take for granted what he has already accomplished. “Something my mom taught me young is that you find success in the journey,” Cerruti said. “So sometimes you just have to stop and think about how far you've come and be grateful for where you're at and what you have done so far, and I think that's helped me a lot and helped me to remain focused and stay humble at the same time.”
The Sky Kings’ season will begin on March 17, with a home game against the Shreveport Mavericks.