Somewhere in between planning his first basketball camp, training for a professional basketball career overseas, dealing with his new sports agent and writing his second book, A.J. Rompza probably sleeps.
But that can’t be verified.
The former UCF point guard, who captivated fans for four years by leaping across the scorer’s table for loose balls and going toe-to-toe with any opponent, no matter how much taller, has been a busy guy since graduating this spring.
Of course, that’s how the Chicago native prefers it.
“I’d rather have a lot going than have [only] one or two things,” Rompza said.
You have to give the scrappy point guard credit — he tried to relax after his senior season came to an end at the National Invitation Tournament against Drexel. Rompza said he tried to take a break from basketball while he worked on his book and his camp, as well as some other projects, and sort of catch his breath.
Fortunately, life apart from the game he loves never stood a chance.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to give up basketball. At the end of the season, I took a couple weeks off [of playing basketball], and I didn’t know what to do,” Rompza said. “I tried to go without it but it didn’t work at all for me, it kind of just had a negative effect on me.
“I have to have something to do with basketball … just something related to basketball.”
For the moment, the former Knights’ floor general is pursuing his ultimate dream — playing professionally, although not in America. Rompza has been working on applying for citizenship in Germany as part of his plan to play professionally in Europe.
Rompza announced last week that he has signed with the King Sports Group, and already the point guard’s new agency has lined up workouts with several European teams, tentatively scheduled for September.
In the meantime, he’s training like crazy with a “wherever, whenever” mentality.
“Pretty much anywhere I can train, I’ll train,” Rompza said. “Now it’s fun because I’m out of college so I can reach out to different people [to train with].”
While Rompza has explored some different trainers and cross-training options, he’s continued to work with former UCF player and graduate assistant Ben O’Donnell.
“Ben is one of the best trainers we’ve had here at UCF and that I’ve had as a personal trainer,” Rompza said.
Maintaining relationships with people such as O’Donnell and head coach Donnie Jones is part of why Rompza has adopted Orlando as a second home, a home base for the next phase of his life.
“That’s the biggest thing is having a great relationship with the people I’ve met here [in Orlando] … it’s turned into like a second family to me,” Rompza said. “I just feel like [Orlando] is where I can be most successful right now.”
The chaotic calendar for Rompza keeps him busy and has had its setbacks. Rompza’s camp, originally scheduled to run from July 20 through July 22, was pushed back to start on Aug. 8. Rompza’s second book has been pushed back because he says he doesn’t want a good book — he wants a great one.
And while some exciting opportunities lie ahead with the upcoming workouts for European teams, Rompza says he has to keep in perspective patience and that there’s a method to the madness.
“It’s kind of a process,” Rompza said. “As much as you want it to happen overnight … you kind of just have to wait for it and let it develop.”