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Panther Spotlight: Isaiah Salter Looks Forward to a Long-Delayed Debut on the Court

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

By Jade McClinton-Dorley

(Isaiah Salter, Redshirt Senior. Position: Guard.)

The fall basketball season is fast approaching and although it’s not game time quite yet, all members of the Adelphi men’s basketball team are practicing as often as they can including one particular member of the team with a unique experience to share as a direct result of the pandemic: Isaiah Salter.

Salter, a senior sports management major, has been unable to play a proper season of basketball at Adelphi because of the Covid pandemic, but that doesn’t put a stop to his endless optimism. He describes himself as “positive, loving and transparent.” His first year of competition will be the 2020-’21 season.

“I feel excited and anxious at the same time,” Salter said. “I’m just ready to get out on the court because it’s been so long and I know what this team is capable of. I want to see where we can go and just show my talent on the court because I haven’t played a game here yet. I've been practicing with the team and working hard every single day. I'm waiting for my moment. Our first game is October 30. I can’t wait for that. Definitely come to the game.”

His older brother was the main spark behind his interest in basketball. “We always used to play when we were kids,” Salter said. “We wouldn’t play for real but we would play in our backyard for fun.”

He also wanted to shout out his mom, step dad, little brother, little sister, older brother, step brother, step sister and grandma for their love and support.

Throughout the years basketball has just been a super positive and healthy outlet for Salter mentally. He said, “I definitely dealt with a lot of things. It’s been hard especially in the past year and half because basketball has always been like a safe haven for me to clear my mind. I can just go on to the court and shoot hoops by myself and be in my own zone. Life can get hard sometimes and basketball is just one of those things that has always been there whenever I needed it so that’s why I think it played a huge positive role in my mental health.”

From his backyard to the glistening basketball courts at Adelphi, Salter has learned a lot especially over the last three years. “Fulfilling,” is the word he would use to describe his Adelphi experience as a whole. “Since I’ve been here at Adelphi I’ve been able to really experience highs and lows in my life and a lot of challenges,” he said. “Being able to beat every challenge head on and being able to conquer it is a fulfilling feeling and experience for me. Even though my time isn't done, based on the three years that I've been here it has been great and I've been able to mature in a lot of areas and I just feel fulfilled because I’m able to conquer all these challenges and just keep moving forward.”

He added, “The biggest way I've grown is maturity wise on and off the court. Being able to become more of an adult. I've taken on more responsibility and I’ve been able to handle things a lot more maturely. I have a lot more patience. As a freshman you come in and you’re still adjusting to college life and everything is kind of going really fast, but as time goes on and you start to understand more things and get comfortable with more things, become more mature and your patience definitely increases a lot. So I think that in terms of maturity and patience I've grown a lot.”

Salter said he’s happy to be a senior. “It feels great. Looking back on how fast it all went by it’s crazy to think like wow it’s been three, almost four years already. Time is really flying, but also it's kinda nice because I accomplished a lot and made it this far which is a great achievement. I’m just trying to take it day by day and cherish every single moment because I know it’s going to be gone in a flash. ”

(Isaiah sitting with his teammates at a home game. )

Salter has goals to play professionally. “ I see a lot of people like me that take this game seriously and have a chance to play at the collegiate level and they always want the opportunity to play professionally so I’m definitely working towards that everyday,” he said. “That’s one of my dreams, to play professional basketball overseas and be able to take my career outside of college.”

But Salter also wants to travel. “Once I’m completely done with college and basketball I just want to enjoy life and cherish every moment and be able to travel because I never really traveled that much as a kid so I think that’s something that I missed out on a lot. But outside of that I also want to stay connected to basketball. One of my goals is to become an athletic director or head coach somewhere because I just love the game and I love sports so staying in a career surrounding basketball would be amazing.”

Looking back on his Adelphi career, Salter said he has no regrets. “Personally if I want to do something I try to just do it even if it doesn’t work out. Just so I don’t regret it. My parents always tell me one of the worst things is when you get to 40 or 50 and looking back you’re like oh I wish I had done this or that. So I try to do my thing and keep to my goals and if something doesn’t work out then move on to the next and just be happy that you tried it.”

Salter had advice for other Panthers. “I would say do your best to spread as much peace and love into the world as you can. With everything in the world going on there's so much hate and people spreading hate and I think it’s important to spread love in times like this because you never know who you can help on a daily basis with a quick ‘hey’ or ‘how are you doing today?’ I think it’s always important to try to keep a positive mindset and really make it a point to spread love, peace and positivity throughout the day no matter who you’re coming in contact with and whether you know them or not. And hopefully that can create a chain reaction. You know one person can inspire two people and two people can inspire four and hopefully the world can become a better place slowly. ”

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