Rod Owens played for Siena from 1978-1980. He started his career at Davidson in North Carolina where he was a Southern Conference All-Rookie selection. Following a coaching change there, the graduate of nearby Catholic Central returned home to play at Siena. He led the team in scoring with 470 points his senior year, averaging 16.8 per game. He also led the team in rebounding as well that season with 191 boards, an average of 6.8. An excellent student athlete Owens was twice named an Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
How did you end up attending Siena?
After being recruited by several colleges, I narrowed my selection to Davidson College in North Carolina and Siena. It was a very difficult decision, I selected Davidson. Following a successful freshman year (1976-77), including selection to the Southern Conference All-Freshman 1st Team, the coaching situation changed which led to my decision to transfer in December 1977. I contacted Coach Bill Kirsch and asked if his scholarship offer to attend Siena was “still good”, his response was absolutely. So I transferred to Siena, anxious to continue with challenging academics and play basketball in front of the “home crowd”. Due to NCAA rules regarding transfer student-athletes, I sat out the second-half of the 1977-78 and the first-half of the 1978-79 seasons.
What is your favorite Siena memory on the court?
There are several; however, one that stands out is in the Siena vs. Syracuse game at Manley Field House during the 1979-80 season when following my block of a Louis Orr shot, Mike Catino and I were on a 2-on-1 fast-break against Roosevelt Bouie (Syracuse’s 7 foot center) and I dunked the ball over Bouie, with the foul, for a 3 point play. The crowd at Manley went crazy and you would have thought that the basket put Siena ahead (we still trailed by 20+ points); none the less we still talk about that play and have a laugh now and then. I was thankful that Catino passed to me on the break rather than pull up for one of his patented 20 footers… thanks Mike!
What is your favorite Siena memory off the court?
Again, tough to select just one… there are many. First and foremost, being selected as a COSIDA Academic All-American in both my junior and senior years (a first for Siena College) were achievements that truly reflect and embody the focus and mission of Siena’s student athletes. Now, for “off the court”… I would say the spring break trips to Florida (stopping off at Davidson along the way to see friends) and senior week are tops on the list. The relationships established both on and off the court, some of which have lasted and even fostered since graduation are special and appreciated.
What have you been doing since you left Siena?
A 30+ year professional career, primarily in business management, and a side-career/interest in horses, rental properties, and land management.
Where do you reside, and tell us about your family:
I reside in Brunswick, New York, nestled among 300 acres surrounded by horse trails and outdoor recreation. I have three children (25, 22 and 15 years old) and gain satisfaction in helping and watching them develop their own careers/interests. I am sharing my interests and life with Diane DeSilva (Siena 1980), also a Siena Basketball die-hard fan.
What are you most looking forward to about the Legends Game?
Reconnecting with former players, seeing the fans and reminiscing about how great we all were…
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