When Lipscomb University center Justin Glenn walked off of Don Meyer Court for the last time there was a tear in his eye.
The sadness wasn’t over the fact he had fouled out of the game Monday night with ETSU with 1:28 left to play. But the realization that he would never take another shot or grab another rebound at Allen Arena was an emotional one for him.
“This team has been such a major part of my life for the past four years,” Glenn said. “To see it come to a close is bittersweet.
“I have my future to look forward to, but basketball has been something I have done since I was five or six years old.”
Glenn’s senior season isn’t over yet. But he knows the number of games has already dwindled down to a precious few. The Bison open the Atlantic Sun Championship Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. central against host and the No. 2-seeded Mercer Bears. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and 102.5 The Game.
After playing in the shadow of Adnan Hodzic for the previous two years, Glenn became a starter and has been one of the top rebounders in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Sometimes, Glenn admits, his patience wore thin as he sat and waited, especially since he had enjoyed a great deal of playing time as a freshman at Centenary. He transferred from Centenary after his freshman season and spent a year at Lipscomb as a redshirt while recovering from knee surgery.
“I had an opportunity to have the majority of the playing time this season at the forward and center positions,” Glenn said. “I tried to put a lot of work in and stayed patient during my time here knowing that my time would come.
“I tried to put the team first. I knew we had a good chance to win with Adnan. It was tough, especially when you have always been a main player your whole life. It was a humbling experience.”
Set to begin his accounting career
Glenn’s basketball career may soon be over in Nashville, but his future career will keep him here after he graduates. Glenn has already accepted an offer from the accounting firm of Deloitte and Touche. He will start his new position in August after finishing his final two classes at Lipscomb.
Glenn, from Tulsa, Okla., spent last summer as an intern in the Nashville offices of Deloitte and Touche. He compares being recruited to work as an accountant as very similar to what it was like to be recruited to become a college basketball player.
“I like the people at Deloitte and I feel like I fit in well with all of the people there,” Glenn said. “Thankfully, they liked me enough to offer me a full-time job. I’m very blessed, especially with the current economic climate.
“It wasn’t that much different than being recruited in college. I was trying to sell myself to Deloitte and let them know why I would be a good fit.”
Balancing a 40-to-50 hour work week with offseason workouts and dealing with the incoming freshmen as team captain made last summer a challenging one for Glenn.
“I was working out in the mornings at 6, going to work all day and playing basketball at night,” Glenn said. “It kind of took a toll on me. It was tough to be fully-invested in both.”
Glenn did not plan on pursuing an accounting degree when he arrived at Lipscomb. He planned to major in both biology and management with a plan of going to chiropractic school. But he decided he didn’t want to be a chiropractor but he wanted to own his own business.
“I thought about a double major in exercise science and management with a plan to open my own gym,” Glenn said. “But then I decided it would be best for me to get an accounting degree.
“I had my first accounting class here with Charles Frasier. It just clicked. I enjoyed it.”
A great place to prepare
Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson tells his players when they arrive on campus as freshmen that the next four years will set them up for the rest of their lives. Glenn has listened to what Sanderson has said the past few years.
While most of his fellow students were relaxing on the weekends, Glenn and a small group of friends would spend every other weekend immersed in their studies in an effort to keep up.
“I wanted to make the most of my educational experience,” Glenn said.
There is no question that he has done that. He plans to take the first part of the CPA exam in April.
“He, more or less, leads by example by who is he is, what he stands for and what he represents,” Sanderson said. “He is a great ambassador for the school and his family.
“You have to have your priorities in line. You can’t be out of whack in any area. If you do, you are going to struggle. Justin has had a very good balance in his life and consequently he is going to be rewarded for it.”
Sanderson rates Glenn as the epitome of a student-athlete.
“He has good focus for his age,” Sanderson said. “He is a very conscientious kid. He wants to do the right things. He is an unbelievable student. He will do very well in the real world."