I was cleaning my room and found the speech I made at the basketball banquet my senior year of college. Thought it would be interesting to throw up here. It’s kind of sappy, but whatever. It got laughs at the time. At least I didn’t skip the event entirely to go to a Nas concert, something I actually considered.
Boehm- The kid responsible for us watching the awful movie “Step Brothers” on a road trip, which led to a multitude of terrible rehashings and impressions from that point forward. You could trace half the terrible locker room jokes to this Peter Boehm driven decision. In spite of all this, I can appreciate how he was willing to play any position, often doing the guard and big man workouts on the same day. He really did whatever the team required without any complaints.
Swiatek- Speaking of never complaining, not only did Swiatek never complain, I don’t think he said anything negative about anyone, not even the coaches. I think I even saw him smile one time when Coach Wade hit him with the pad as hard as he could. You guys better hope that happy go lucky attitude continues, because I think he could knock any one of us out just by flexing his biceps. I have known knee problems in my career, and how difficult it is to play though them, so I have to hand it to him for battling the entire season solely to make the team better. That takes a a lot of guts.
Van Nest- Although we all obviously wish he could have played, it does not take away from the fact that Van Nest was the king of the crimson points this year. You always had to make sure to be extra nice to him in the hopes that he would clear one of your turnovers at the end of practice. Somtimes it could get tiresome to hear him yell “you are gonna make the next one!” after every missed shot, but when you think about it, it was really hard for him to be there encouraging us every day without ever getting to step on the court. The way he dealt with that was admirable.
Max- One of the travesties of the season on par with Boehm and Step Brothers was that Max had the closest locker to the stereo. I can’t even count how many awful songs were played at an unimaginable volume. I recall severall times when I walked over to try and switch the music and was physically restrained like I was trying to takes his first born child. I also had the pleasure of being in Max’s drill group, and I am surprised I made it through the year without a trip to the emergency room from one of his thousands of fouls. It was a good thing he brought the same intensity to the games, because he was a real difference maker in a lot of our wins, and some of his blocks were nothing short of spectacular.
Hugh- (I have a stuff scribbled in pen here. This is what I can make out. Sorry Hugh!) Drill where he threw it off the backboard when we were conditioning really brought the team together. He gets a ton of grief but handles it well. You can hardly ever hear what he is saying.
Keith- Oh, the gummi worm warrior. You would think it would be bad to consume straight sugar and gelatin mere minutes before a matuchup with the Ivy League defensive player of the year, but Keith was able to do that and still come up with a double double. Whereever I am next year, I will miss Keiths freestyling and his always enthusiastic cries of “LETS GO!!”
Oliver- (This comes off as pretty mean. I hope it didn’t come out that way on delivery…) He is the epitome of how there can be a huge gap between general intelligence and basketball IQ. Since he probably doesn’t know what ‘epitome’ means, I will explain. It is like the ideal example of something. He is not someone I would want helping me before a test, but you can bet I will take him by my side on the court any day, as he will always play hard and make smart decisions. He may think BMW stands for British Motor Vehicles, but he can still drop 20 on Yale, which is all that matters.
Doug- Undoubtedly the most underrated comedian on the team, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t also lead the team in jokes that left everyone scratching their heads and demanding an explanation. To be fair, sometimes it was just Oliver that was confused. I think Doug is literally too smart for us sometimes. He is aslo good to have around because there is always the possiblity that Bob Bigelow will show up to teach us the famous Doug Miller jump shot form. Anyway, I think we can all agree that Doug was an absolute rock for us down low. He showed what he is capable of when he faced off afgainst Santa Clara’s highly touted center, who was like 7’5 350, and dominated the matchup.
Dan- His car is the only reason any one hung out with him, because we all know it was not his attitude. He was always the leader in any sort of verbal ribbing, sometimes even when he didn’t know what the conversation was about. (The rest is scribbled in pen…) Partner in crime, inventions, lights out shooter, big things for him.
Jeremy- Definitely one of the least irritable kids on the team. Jeremy will take a lot of crap with a smile and a nod, but when you push too far he can come back with something so intense it leaves the whole locker room shell shocked for days. I think one time we had to get Dan mental health counseling after Jeremy got through with him. Although he claims a higher power is pushing him to succeed, we all know he got to the point he is at through hard work and will power. He played excellently all season long and had a major role in all of our wins.
Pat- I was glad to put his socks on when he was debilitated. There is no doubt our year could have been a lot different without some of the injuries we had, and a big part of that was Pat. He has soft hands, great footwork, and a ton of athleticism. I bet he is gong to have a big senior year next season.
Evan- The number one person on the team to go to for fashion advice. Evan can always be seen repping his hometown with, as one person described it, his “cool LA gear.” His devotion to looking awesome was so pronounced that he would routinely, in the name of LA street wear, walk into the airport with clothing and a backpack that featured pictures of huge exploding bombs. It’s no wonder our flight back from DC was delayed. As was the case with Swiatek, I tip my hat to Evan for for the courage he showed in fighting for the team the whole season on a knee that made probably made him a third of the athlete he was capable of being. In spite of that, he still had some huge games and played extremely well down the stretch. I hope where ever you play next year you are allowed to beat the living hell out of your assistant after getting a double double, and it was a pleasure to be your teammate for 4 years.
Andy- Finally, the infamous Lamonster himself. Thank god Andy was around. If there was ever a bus accident that left us stranded we would be OK, because Andy probably had enough cookies in his enormous backpack to feed us for weeks. If you thought Jeremy took a lot of grief without lashing out, it is nothing to what poor Andy endured. You would have thought the captain would be feared and respected in his own locker room, but you couldn’t have been more wrong. Between his outrageous screams when he got hurt, his head to toe J.Crew outfits and his hilarious caveman like running form, there was just too much material for the team to work with. I just hope he hasn’t been saving up all his rage for those law school kids next year, or he is gonna have a hard time making friends. All kidding aside, Andy is the only guy who could have, before one of the biggest games of the year, had us passionately yelling “hoodrats” in the huddle. It was this balance of using inside jokes to lighten the mood while also being intense for the game that set Andy apart as captain. When the lights came on, no one cared more about winning and giving his all.
Good luck to Harvard this weekend! Nothing would be sweeter than clinching against Cornell on Saturday.