Darius Quisenberry: A Star at Rose Hill


As the Rams compete in year one under Keith Urgo, Darius Quisenberry continues to make his mark. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

For graduate student Darius Quisenberry, the decision to come to Fordham was bigger than basketball. Quisenberry, an Ohio native who spent three years at local Youngstown State University, decided to bet on himself. He had proved everything at Youngstown State, finishing his career as a Penguin with over 900 career points, the 11th most assists in school history and an All-Horizon League first-team selection. 

However, he felt his career needed to take another step, which came at Fordham. 

“Ohio is a different speed than New York. What helped me a lot was the relationships I had with coach [Kyle] Neptune and coach [Keith] Urgo,” Quisenberry said. Quisenberry knew it would be difficult to leave his family behind in Ohio, but he felt that to best take care of them, moving to Fordham was necessary for his growth both on and off the court.

And in his first year at Fordham, Quisenberry proved any doubters wrong that he was ready for the jump to the Atlantic 10. In game one, he made his mark against Columbia University, electrifying the crowd with 20 first-half points and six three pointers. For the season, he finished sixth in the A-10 in scoring, with a 36-point performance over eventual NCAA Tournament team Davidson College marking a season highlight for Quisenberry. Showing up in the big games and big moments is nothing new for Quisenberry, and it’s something he credits his family for. 

“For me, it was watching my father with real pressure in life working multiple jobs and coaching high school basketball. Now that I’m older, to me this is just a game. Seeing that, it’s fun. I get to do the thing I love. When I’m on the court, it’s stress-free and there’s nothing else in my mind than being out there with my brothers and taking the moment in and being present in it.”

Quisenberry was the one constant on a changing Fordham team last year. After star player Antonio Daye left the team mid-season, a massive gap was left in the Ram’s offensive attack that Quisenberry had no choice but to fill. He did just that, until an injury in January sidelined him for six games. 

Fortunately for Fordham, Quisenberry returned and gave the Rams everything he had. Despite playing injured, he helped lead Fordham to a .500 record in A-10 play and the team’s first A-10 Tournament quarterfinal appearance since 2007. 

With a returning cast, the team appeared poised for a breakout season as Neptune transitioned into his second year leading the program. That was until the stunning news of Jay Wright’s retirement, which led Neptune to take the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to coach Villanova University leaving Fordham in disarray yet again.

The program was in question. If Urgo was promoted to head coach, the core would be back. If not, it seemed time for another long rebuild. The hiring process was quick and with the support of Quisenberry and the rest of his teammates on social media, it made the decision to promote Urgo an easy one.

“As a team, we tried to speak up for what we believed in and what we felt was right in that coach Urgo was the right person for the job. We tried to use our voice to get him the job and it worked out.” 

Now with the coaching change, the transfer offers rolled in for Quisenberry. What would be a difficult decision for most wasn’t for Quisenberry, as he never showed any serious interest in leaving the program. 

“I had a lot of offers to go high major and different places. But me trusting coach Urgo and his beliefs in me as well… I really wanted him to get the job and I was grateful he did.”

So far, it appears both Fordham and Quisenberry have made the right call here in 2022. Through 13 games, the Rams are off to their best start since 1970-71 and sit at 12-1. And for Quisenberry, he’s put up career highs across the board with 18.1 PPG and 45.5% from beyond the arc.

But most importantly for Quisenberry, he is the undisputed leader of the team this season with the departure of Chuba Ohams.

“As a leader, you don’t get to take days off. Whether you feel it or you don’t feel it, you have to pull it together for your guys because if you’re not there that day, they can feel that they can slack off.” For Quisenberry, being that everyday guy representing Fordham is how he wants to lead by example. 

Fordham’s hot start coincides with the Atlantic 10 in a down year. With Quisenberry off to a fantastic start, his legacy at Fordham is still largely unwritten. But for him, he knows how he wants to be remembered at Fordham. 

“On the court bringing a championship back to Fordham. We want a championship and we know we can accomplish that. Off the court trying to get everything in order academically, networking with everybody because you can’t play the game for life. The ball is going to stop bouncing for everybody one day so trying to be nice to everybody because you never know where those connections can take you in life.” 

He has embraced being a Ram every step of the way and has gone about his business with nothing but class, a testament to who he is as a player but also as a person.