Although it’s not uncommon for college basketball players to have high expectations for their post-college careers, Sabatino Chen is just focused on his love of the game.
Chen, a former senior starting guard for the CU Buffaloes, says he’d be happy playing basketball pretty much anywhere. After graduating from CU-Boulder with a mathematics degree in May, Chen signed with an agent and hopes to play with a team overseas.
“My ideal is anywhere in Europe like in Spain or Italy, but we’re also talking to teams in Greece, Taiwan and China,” he says.
A native of Louisville, Colo., Chen led the Monarch Coyotes to the second round of the Colorado Class 5A state tournament as a senior. He is Monarch’s all-time leader in rebounds and assists, and second in points, according to the University of Colorado Athletics. Chen spent two years playing for the University of Denver before transferring to CU-Boulder before the 2010-2011 season.
He helped the Buffs win the Pac-12 title and was part of the team’s first NCAA tournament appearance since the 2002-2003 season his junior year. Then, he was a key starter/reserve in the Buff’s second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance his senior year.
Chen says highlights of his career with the Buffs include being able to be a starter for the first time and going to two NCAA tournaments. He also is thankful for the opportunity to play at the highest level of competition close to home.
“I learned a lot from the coaches about how to get better as a basketball player there,” Chen says. “All the coaches are just really good player-development coaches, and I liked that a lot.”
Chen also plans to acquire a Taiwanese passport, so he is eligible to play basketball in Taiwan. Although his heritage may not have directly affected his career, Chen says it might become an advantage if it gives him the opportunity to play for a Taiwanese team.
“I probably get noticed a little bit more because there are not many Asian basketball players in college, but I also could have been overlooked when I was younger because of stereotypes, but I didn’t notice anything specific,” Chen says.
Dubbed “Super Nin-Chen-Do” and “Nin-Chen-Do 64 by his teammates, Chen enjoys playing video games in his spare time; his favorite is “Call of Duty.” He also likes hanging out with his girlfriend, friends and family.