Versatile Cusworth Still Growing

Jessica E. Schumer

Sophomore center BRIAN CUSWORTH (right) is hoping to lead the Ivies in blocks after gaining over 15 pounds of muscle this summer.

You know those guys outside sports arenas who hawk scorecards? You know, the ones whose refrain is “Can’t tell the players without a program.”

Brian Cusworth could be their poster child.

As a freshman at John Burroughs High School in St. Louis, Mo., Cusworth was a 6’0 swingman.

But that was before he grew an average of three inches a year throughout high school.

As a sophomore, the taller Cusworth stayed on the perimeter and wore number 23.

But when he kept growing before his junior year, Cusworth became a power forward. In the process, he outgrew his uniform. Since the jersey numbers corresponded to their sizes, Cusworth became number 40 on the roster.


As a senior, Cusworth grew to 6’10 and added 11 to his uniform number.

Now, he’s Harvard’s 7’ sophomore center, but he hasn’t forgotten his roots as a perimeter player.

In fact, Cusworth’s history is the source of his greatest strength—his versatility—which has Ivy basketball pundits raving about his potential.

Unfortunately for the Crimson, Cusworth has been temporarily sidetracked by a stress fracture to the navicular in his foot that will keep him sidelined for the next month.

Turned Outside In

With his background in the back court, Cusworth is decidedly not your typical lumbering, touchless center.

In addition to being able to handle the ball, Cusworth has a deadly 15-foot jumper and can even step back and shoot the three on occasion.

In fact, Cusworth led his high school team in three-point shooting percentage not only as a sophomore, but also as a junior power forward and a 6’10 senior.

“My strength would definitely be my ability to face up to the basket, whereas it seems like the majority of guys my size at this level have been enormous all their lives,” Cusworth said. “When I was a freshman and when I was six feet, they were 6’4, 6’5 and they’ve always been facing with their back to the basket and have not had the requirement to be mobile, be versatile.”

So does Cusworth have visions of outshooting junior marksman Kevin Rogus after not attempting a single trey last year?