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From music scholarship to high-major basketball: Andrew Del Piero getting minutes at LSU

Dec 16, 2012, 1:38 PM EST

Andrew Del Piero AP

If you’re 7-3, you likely won’t be featured in the New York Times. If you’re a musician in a college marching band, you likely won’t be featured in the New York Times. But if you’re a 7-3 musician in a college marching band who also happens to play on the school’s basketball team, you’ve got a chance.

Andrew Del Piero, LSU’s 7-3 senior center, got his first start of the year against Seton Hall on Nov. 29 and is now finding his spot in the Tigers’ regular rotation. The former sousaphone player was on a music scholarship at LSU before walking on to the school’s basketball team.

He has seen minutes in all seven of LSU’s games and, though he’s not in the running for any all-conference teams, is averaging a solid 4.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game while shooting an impressive 75 percent from the floor.

He wasn’t always that way, though, he tells the New York Times.

“I was really uncoordinated when I was younger and I got discouraged,” Del Piero said, according to the paper. “It wasn’t what I wanted to do. At the time, anyway.”

“A lot of people at school had seen me play, and they knew that I wasn’t a basketball player,” he added.

He then, according to the report, began to play in the school’s recreational league and gained confidence along the way. With a boost from former LSU forward Collis Temple, he walked on to the team and is now finding himself in the regular rotation.

Read the full NYT story here.

Below is a video of Del Piero marching with the LSU band:

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_