By Peter Gallagher |
Why did you sit out last season?
It’s kind of complicated. I was born with a depressed sternum, so I basically had a hole in my chest. I had that my whole life. It just impeded me when it came to physical activity, because basically my heart was flattened like a pancake. It wasn’t life threatening or anything, I lived my whole life with it and I was fine, but I would get a lot more tired than an average person, I’d be winded way faster and stuff. I really started noticing it when I came to college so I decided to get the, it’s called the NES procedure, to fix it. I got a foot-long bar put in to my chest. It was a very, very long and painful recovery process, so I was going through that all year ... It was a really, really long recovery process.
And have things gotten better since then?
Yeah it definitely has. I don’t know if I went in to it naïve, thinking I would never be tired again, because that’s what they told me. They were like, “Oh you’re gonna notice such a difference,” and I do. I have better stamina now. Instead of going up and down once and needing a sub, I can go for a longer period of time. Its nice.
What are some individual goals you set for the season?
Well, firstly, we put our team goals ahead of our personal goals. We want to win the WCC championship and go to the tournament. That’s our top priority. Personally, I just want to come out and have a strong season. I worked super hard last year getting back, getting in the gym and stuff and working on my game. I’d love to make the WCC team if I could and be one of our leaders in scoring.
What attracted you to UP?
It’s nice because it’s not too far, it’s a 10-hour drive from home, but not too far. My parents can still come down and stuff. I’m used to the Northwest and I really love it down here. I had a great time when I came down. I really liked all the players, they made me feel at home, and the coaches.
Do you have any hobbies outside basketball?
Basketball literally takes up my whole life, so I don’t have really any. (laughing). Hanging out with my friends, chilling. Literally all we do is basketball, eat, homework, sleep.
Do you have any games circled on the calendar?
We play Seattle U next Sunday here in the Chiles Center. They’re like, I wouldn’t say our rivals, but we always have bloodbaths against them. I don’t remember if we lost against them last year, but that’s one team we always want to come out and beat. We play Montana on Monday, so we need to come out and get that win. I look forward to every game, honestly, after sitting out for a year. It’s just exciting, every game that’s coming up.