I Smell Basketball Season
At last, basketball season is upon us. I could go on for days about reasons why we do what we do and why we work day in and day out nearly all year-round. For fans, the excitement is a different type of excitement. It is being able to follow their teams, cheer for their teams, and anticipate the madness that March often brings. But for players, there is a little more to it than that. Here is a Top 10, in no particular order, about some of the best parts of being a basketball player at Drake University.
- The student section: you make game day so much fun no matter how many of you there are. Absolutely no better feeling when the students can be a part of our success or have our backs when things aren’t going as well.
- The game lights: the Knapp Center is hands down my favorite place on campus. I will miss playing in the Knapp Center more than anything. That place is electric even when it’s empty.
- The community: the students, the fans, the city of Des Moines, the Drake faculty, and anyone else I’m missing that associates with Drake basketball. I have a hard time believing the support at other Division I schools is as amazing as it is here.
- The relationships: the people I have met playing basketball here are people I will stay in touch with the rest of my life. It is hard to explain what happens when you spend every waking second with your teammates. We’ve been through the best of times and the worst of times. Let’s just say that type of bond is an unbreakable one.
- The traveling: even with poor weather conditions, a stalled charter bus, or a delayed flight, traveling to and from games is so much fun (but more fun when we win). I would not trade the memories I have made on road trips for anything.
- The pride: there is just something about wearing a Drake jersey that gives me pride in every sense of the word. Especially after going on five years, you recognize the value of what this university stands for and has to offer.
- The city: I am not surprised so many Drake graduates end up sticking around Des Moines after graduation. Although I’m biased, it is the place to be.
- The off-season: I probably should put quotation marks around the word off-season. We are always at work whether it’s in the weight room, watching film, or mastering our craft. It can be exhausting, yes. But you look back on every minute spent getting better with no regrets.
- The process: even when things are not so glamorous, it is the process that gets you to the top. One day at a time, one practice at a time, and one game at a time have to be the focus.
- The blood, sweat and tears: the good, the bad, and the ugly make success that much more fun. You learn to take failure with a grain of salt, as hard as it may be, and find ways to move on. Even when I have the worst day, I remind myself how lucky I am to be doing something I have loved forever and for a school I have undoubtedly fallen in love with.