Player Called Tank Leads Tough Team
March 16, 2011
NYTimes.com: When Frank Hassell arrived at Old Dominion in 2006 as a lanky 6-foot-7 freshman, he tried to make a name for himself by making a name for himself. After declaring at one of the Monarchs' first workouts that his teammates should call him Flight, he drove toward the rim, awkwardly tried to dunk and landed on his backside.
The nickname did not take off, either. After Hassell grew two inches, put on 30 pounds and turned into the Monarchs' bruising inside force fans began calling him Frank the Tank, a more fitting namesake of Will Ferrell's character in "Old School."
Hassell still does not jump high, but he clears space like a snowplow and chases rebounds as if they were dinner. And now, as a fifth-year senior forward with a Tank tattoo on his arm, he is the face and the body of the Monarchs, who might be the toughest team in the N.C.A.A. tournament.
"Frank's a gentle kind of guy off the court," said Hassell's father, Frank Sr. "I'm not sure how he turns into such a beast when he plays, but it's a wonderful thing to see."