Xavier’s Matt Stainbrook became a fan favorite during his time with the Musketeers as the bearded, bespectacled big man turned into one of Chris Mack’s most valuable players.
He drew national attention during Xavier’s run to the Sweet 16 because Stainbrook works as an Uber driver. The story is actually fantastic: Stainbrook’s little brother, Tim, was a walk-on attending Xavier as an undergrad, while the elder Stainbrook was in grad school. Since tuition for grad school was much, much cheaper than undergrad tuition, Matt opted to give Tim his scholarship and pay his own way to grad school as a walk-on.
To help fund his final year of eligibility, Stainbrook started working as an Uber driver.
Well, the Stainbrook story has taken another turn this spring, as Matt, who stands 6-foot-10 and 270 pounds, has taken up … track? From the Cincinnati Enquirer:
Although he never participated in a field event before last month, Stainbrook will be among the 40 Xavier athletes competing in the weekend’s Big East Track & Field Outdoor Championship at Villanova. There, he’ll angle for points as the Musketeers’ lone male thrower.
“I like to do different things. I’m a Renaissance man,” Stainbrook said with a smile Tuesday at Withrow High School, one of the team’s practice spots. “Especially because it keeps me in shape, keeps me busy.”
You read that right. Stainbrook is training for a potential trip to the NBA Combine by becoming the lone shot-put and discus thrower on Xavier’s men’s track and field team.
Basketball hasn’t become an afterthought just yet. Stainbrook is still lifting and still playing in open gyms. He’s signed an agent and angling for a trip to the NBA Summer League. And, if as expected, he doesn’t make an NBA roster, he’s looking at going to Europe to play pro ball.
But that’s in the future.
Until then, he’s trying to win himself a Big East track and field title.