This column serves as a spotlight, highlighting the everyday people who work and live in Callaway County. The Fulton Sun takes a moment with someone who is not usually featured in the news, but is just as instrumental in making our community the strong and beautiful place we all know and love.
Zak Spryszak is one of the new graduate assistant coaches of the William Woods University men's basketball team. Spryszak is originally from Troy, Michigan, and has been living in Fulton for the past two weeks since accepting the position at WWU. He attended Grand Valley State University in Michigan where he worked as a student manager of the men's basketball team for four years and received his bachelor's degree in sports management. Spryszak is currently pursuing his master's degree in sports administration at WWU.
Q. What was your first job?
A. My first job ever was as a league coach at Joe Dumars Fieldhouse in Detroit. I coached Little League basketball, and it just kind of led to me wanting to coach basketball for the rest of my life.
Q. Who most inspires you (living or dead)?
A. I would have to say Jim Valvano is one of my favorite coaches who I've tried to model myself after. I mean I know he was kind of a cheater at the end of his career. I don't want to be that guy, but he just enjoyed life everyday and lived life to the fullest. That's what I want to do.
Q. What have you done in life that was most fulfilling?
A. I wear a wristband that says "get better everyday" because there was one day that I changed somebody's life my freshman year of college. That just led into more things, and my friends and I began a club that's still in existence at my old school. It's called the "get better everyday club." It's grown from like five members to 25-30. We just try to have an impact on people's lives and try to help the community.
Q. What is something that you are proud of that you have been recognized for?
A. People think that I'm a good basketball coach and that I really care about the individual aspects more than the winning. I think that's something I hold my head high on from when I was only 17 coaching to now, 22. That's always been my emphasis that I've been pretty proud of.
Q. What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
A. I've always said, if something didn't happen in college coaching, I would try to open my own facility to run basketball camps, volleyball camps and youth basketball leagues. I don't really know what's around here that's like the same thing but I know back home there's The Courthouse or The Joe Dumars Fieldhouse that I worked at. I'd like to try and run one of those.
Q. What profession would you not like to do?
A. I couldn't be a doctor or anything in the medical field because it's just way too much school. I couldn't do it for that long.
Q. What is something that nobody knows about you?
A. I'm a really good ping pong player. I love to play it. It's a lot of fun. In a tournament between me and my friends, I like to think I'd usually win.
Q. What is your favorite thing about Callaway County?
A. I love the university, obviously. I just love the people (in Fulton.) Everyone I've interacted with, whether it be at a restaurant or on campus or at the gas station, it's always genuine people, and I really enjoy talking to them