Lyndon Daniel's hoop dream differs from the typical college basketball star. Despite his size and talent, the 6-8 junior center for C.W. Post does not aspire to play professionally. He's more excited about earning a degree in computer science.
Daniel also might have a Division II title on his resume. No. 2 Post continued its undefeated path to the NCAA Tournament yesterday, making it 22 straight with a 95-56 victory over visiting Molloy.
Jonathan Schmidt, who had 25 points, moved to within 17 of tying Garee Bryant's school record of 1,835.
Daniel, who leads the team in rebounding with an average of 8.3, grabbed seven to go along with eight points in only 18 minutes.
Tell Daniel how much he could make overseas pursuing basketball and he counters with a strident reply, even to his coach, Tim Cluess. "He'll say, 'With my degree, I'm going to make $150,000.' He is super into the computer world."
And, though talented, a latecomer to basketball.
Daniel grew up in Grenada and played cricket. He never played basketball until he was 19. He wanted an American education, and his raw talent earned him a scholarship to Division II East Central University in Oklahoma.
He transferred to Post to be closer to his mother, Donna, who left Grenada to help her family financially by working as an au pair in Great Neck when Lyndon still was a child.
"I was exuberant to finally see my son in person after almost seven years," Donna Daniel, who speaks limited English, relayed through her son. "When I left, he was still a little boy. My little Lyndon was all grown up. He is now a man."
That said, Mom has no problem critiquing Lyndon's game.
"She said I'm good in some aspects, not good in others," he said, laughing. "She tells me like it is. She'll say I'm a terrible shooter, I can't handle the ball. Defensively, I'm solid. Offensively, I need a lot of work. Back home, she never took to sports. She came over here and got into it."
More so, apparently, than her son.
"The truth, I don't want to play after this [college]," he said. "It is not one of my goals. All my teammates tell me I'm crazy, but I think I had enough of it. When you are younger, you want to go to the NBA and be popular and rich. When it comes down to it, there is a lot of hard work you have to do."
He'd rather use what Cluess identified as considerable intelligence. "He is all about education," the coach said. "I think he is using basketball as a tool for education."
The way Post is playing, it could make a strong run at the national championship next month. That will not deter Daniel from his post-graduation plan.
"I want to stay here and get a good job and help out my mother," he said. "She helped me for so long; now it is my turn." Wednesday Dowling at C.W. Post 7 p.m.