#WaveCrushWednesday: Brandon Issa
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This week’s #WaveCrushWednesday is Brandon Issa, a redshirt sophomore pitcher for the Green Wave. Issa, originally from Old Tappan, New Jersey, is studying public relations and has been playing baseball all his life. In his most recent appearance on Tuesday at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, Issa started the fourth inning in relief of starter Keagan Gillies where the Wave went on to win 9-3.
Why do you play baseball?
I started playing baseball at a pretty early age. When I was two, my grandfather, he took a piece of PVC pipe, stuck it in the ground, and that’s what I used as a tee. I would stand there all day hitting balls, running to get them, throwing them back and just doing that all day long until I was tired of it. Baseball is something I’ve always done, it’s one of my favorite activities — especially throwing. I just like to throw a lot. I don’t want to say it’s a way of life because I think it’s too serious. I take the game very seriously and want to give my team a chance to win, but it’s not, at the end of the day, going to decide who I am as a person. I think everybody who plays has to understand that. No matter what you do on the field, it shouldn’t affect the way you are in the dugout, and in the locker room and at your house. I try to separate the two things very separately. I don’t want to say it means everything to me. It means a lot, it’s very important in my life, it really is, but you have to have that separation of the field and of the home.
Do you want to continue baseball after college?
To be honest, the end goal is to get as far as I can go. If that’s college, I’m very content with it. If that’s Single-A/minor leagues I’m very content with that too. Baseball got me here; I probably wouldn’t have gotten into school without it. It’s nice that it got me this far, and I appreciate all the coaches and staff and even the facility to play in this every day, it’s a dream. You go from playing for a high school in Old Tappan, playing in a parking lot and it’s snowing and you can’t go on the field to this beautiful weather and amazing facility every day. What’s there to not like?
What’s been your greatest memory with the Green Wave?
It was probably my freshman year against Creighton, because we had a real bad rivalry going with them over the weekend. We almost got into a fight with them, and that was like my first time ever being in like this really serious — going from high school where no one really did that and coming here where everybody’s running out of the dugout on the first game. It was insane. We won the first game, lost the second game and won in a walk-off in the third game. It was at home. We were running out to the field; they were still out there. It was really crazy, and it was my first ‘oh, my God’ moment. It was crazy. It was probably my favorite memory so far.