Joe Timmes: From NYU to NBA
April 17, 2017
NYU senior Joe Timmes recently wrapped up his tremendous collegiate career as captain of the men’s basketball team and, with a job with the Brooklyn Nets on the horizon, shows no signs of stopping his association with the sport post-graduation.
Timmes, who grew up in Morristown, NJ and attended Chatham High School, committed to NYU because of its basketball program’s reputation among DIII schools as well as its quality players. He also saw living in the city as a challenge in finding balance, returning to his home in the New Jersey suburbs yet remaining in New York City enough to keep his personal independence.
Timmes’ basketball talent transformed into a stellar four-year career at NYU. During his senior season, he averaged 30.8 minutes per game with 14.0 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game as the team’s starting shooting guard. He also shot a superb 39.2 percent from beyond the arc and led the team in steals.
More impressively, he capped off his collegiate career by becoming the second NYU men’s basketball player to be named to the Men’s Division III College Sports Information Directors of America All-America Third Team.
“It’s quite an award to win,” Timmes said, confessing that he was unaware of his candidacy for the award due to its secretive selection process. “I felt very honored and proud of the accomplishment. In DIII, you [have the ability to] improve in the class and on the field. It is a huge time commitment that acclimates you to get adjusted for time management. It’s challenging, yet rewarding.”
Timmes reflected on his final season at NYU, during which the team finished 7-18 after losing seven seniors to graduation and adding ten freshmen to the roster.
“Our year with the NYU basketball team was a process,” Timmes said. “I looked at it in terms of a bigger macro-level view. We were trying to build for the future. I was trying to develop this winning culture with these ten young freshmen and trying to lead by example so that they could further improve off of that, that they could further grow and become more successful than the year we had.”
Ross Udine, junior guard for the Violets, is grateful to have played alongside Timmes.
“I loved having Joe by my side these past three seasons and [I’m] extremely thankful to have had him to push me everyday and make me a better player,” Udine said. “I am looking forward to see what he accomplishes in the future.”
Coach Joe Nesci, who coached Timmes for the whole of his collegiate career, spoke to his leadership abilities.
“Joe has been a great leader and role model for our team,” Nesci said. “With a roster that included 10 freshmen this year, Joe set a great example through how hard he worked each and every day in practice and games. He was a pleasure to coach for the last four years.”
Timmes admires NBA players such as Russell Westbrook for “his motor always [being] at 100 percent,” LeBron James for his mentality and “mesmerizing” pure talent, and Klay Thompson for his shot. “If I’m ever in a slump, I’ll watch him shoot,” Timmes acknowledged. Timmes also demonstrates his affinity for basketball as a writer for STATCAT, an analytics sports blog.
Graduating in May with a degree in Sports Management from the School of Professional Studies, Timmes recently accepted a job to work with the Brooklyn Nets as their Basketball Operations Seasonal Assistant, for which he will work in their front office to assist with the Nets’ upcoming offseason and regular season.
“My passion is in basketball,” Timmes said. “The ultimate goal would be to end up working as a [general manager].”
Timmes aims to translate his leadership on the court to his new job with the Nets, and hopefully make that dream come true.
“It’s going to take a lot of work,” Timmes said. “It’s going to take a lot of persistence that you have to slowly churn out day by day, month by month, year by year, and that’s something that I’m looking forward to doing with them.”
Based on Timmes’ track record, there should be no doubt as to whether the captain can guide his career to greater heights.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 17 print edition. Email Jake Steel at [email protected]
Correction: Upon publication, the photograph that accompanied the article was outdated. The picture has been updated to a more current photograph of Timmes.