Q&A with former Penn basketball player Jeff Schiffner
Schiffner witnessed the Temple Owl receive a technical foul during his playing days
December 3, 2013, 5:42 pm · Updated December 3, 2013, 5:49 pm·
Angie Louie | DP
Jeff Schiffner played shooting guard for Penn basketball from 2000 to 2004. As a junior, Schiffner led the nation in three-point shooting, converting on 49.3 percent of his attempts from beyond-the-arc. After graduating, Schiffner played basketball professionally in Europe, and made stops with teams in Portugal, Denmark and Germany.
The Daily Pennsylvanian: What are some of your favorite memories playing for Penn basketball?
Jeff Schiffner: I had a great four years at Penn, and I was very fortunate to play with great teammates and great coaches. As far as specific memories, I think they always revolve around the Palestra and some of the games we had there and obviously the two NCAA tournament experiences.
DP: How do you feel the program changed during your time at Penn?
JS: I played for coach Dunphy for four years, and his system was very effective and the continuity with his system was helpful. Looking back, the four years felt very similar because of that. There were slight changes, but on the whole a similar experience each year.
DP: Was there anything coach Dunphy said to you that caused you to end up at Penn?
JS: Well, just getting to know him in the process. He was very classy, very direct. I really though that the way he ran the program was something that I wanted to be a part of. He really touched on the Penn tradition and the tradition with the Big 5. It felt special; the program was, is and will always be special.He did a very good job of bringing that out. He was telling you: “Hey, it would be great to have you be a part of this great program.” That was always something that impressed me.
DP: How many of the players from your Penn career have you stayed in touch with?
JS: I’ve stayed close with a number of them, some guys I see them regularly, weekly or bi-weekly, other guys not as often. But we always make it a point to touch base. We had a very nice culture around the basketball program, we were very close, obviously spent a lot of time together over the four years.
DP: What did you do immediately after graduating?
JS: I graduated, and I played basketball professionally in Europe for three years, and then I came back and started a career in the business world.I worked in real estate private equity. I ended up going back and getting my MBA at Wharton and now I work in finance in New York, I work on Wall Street.
DP: What was your experience like playing overseas?
JS: It was definitely different.It was three years that I’ll look back on with fondness. It was a terrific experience. To be able to see parts of the world that I never thought I’d be able to see and play a sport that I love to play.
DP: Did players from Penn or other Ivy League programs make that same transition to playing overseas?
JS: There were a number of guys. On the teams that I played on at Penn, there were at least five other players who went and did the same thing, probably more. It was really fun to play against guys and see guys on other teams. It’s something that I think Penn has done more so than other teams in the Ivy League, but it’s always fun and nice to see familiar faces when you’re 3000 miles away.
DP: Moving back to the Penn side, how often do you come back to the Palestra to watch games?
JS: As often as I can, when I went back to go to grad school there and when I lived in Philadelphia before I went to grad school, so I was there frequently. Now it’s a little bit harder given that I’m in New York, but I try to stay close to the program. Even though I might not be able to make it to the Palestra as often as when I was living in Philly, every opportunity I get to come down I do.
DP: Any other anecdotes from your Penn basketball career that you’d like to share?
JS: One thing that’s always a great story that I tell people was we played at Temple my sophomore year, and it was a very close game, and we ended up beating them.
But in the second half, the Temple Owl got T’ed up and we ended up having to shoot technicals and those ended up being the technicals that ended up winning us the game. That’s one I always tell people. It’s a great program and in my opinion it’s always been a great program and always will be.