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Senior Sendoff: Alex Gustafson

As the 2016-17 seniors get ready to graduate, they take a minute to reflect back on their four years as a University of Chicago Maroon. First up? Alex Gustafson.

Alex Gustafson, No. 20, Guard

What has been the best part about being a member of the Maroons?

Definitely the lifelong friendships I’ve made with guys on the team over my entire four years. I can’t imagine being closer with such a large group of guys, and I’m extremely lucky and thankful to call them my best friends.

What about of being a UChicago student?

The learning that has taken place outside of the classroom. I’ve met such a wide variety of people who constantly push me in new ways I had never explored before coming here, and that’s been really interesting and fulfilling over the years.

Of all the time you’ve spent playing over the last four years, what is your favorite on-court memory?

One particular moment that stands out to me was my freshman year, when senior Charlie Hughes physically couldn’t help himself from throwing his hands in the air when he was getting yelled at for something trivial. So we all had to run down and back…twice. Also up there is every Goose-cut Eric Robinson and I connected on, over the years.

And how about when it comes to off-the-court, with teammates?

There are too many to choose from for this one, but if I had to narrow it down I would say our trip to New Zealand and Australia.

Is there a certain matchup you’ve always looked forward to?

I always loved watching our team try to hold the other team’s best player to below his average. That was usually pretty entertaining.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve gotten, during your time as a Maroon?

While a lot of wisdom has been bestowed upon us by alums, what sticks out most comes from 2014 graduate Derrick Davis who constantly told me, “Never speculate – it can only lead to disappointment.”

What words of wisdom do you have for the teammates you’re leaving behind?

Try to not only push through, but also enjoy the tough days of Maroons basketball. In whatever you’re doing, try to make as many memories as possible with your teammates.

What will you miss most about UChicago, as a whole?

I’ll miss all of the spontaneity that comes with being in college, and with respect to UChicago specifically, I’ll miss the plethora of interesting people I would interact with on a day-to-day basis. This school fosters a unique environment that can’t be emulated in the real world, and I’ll likely miss that the most.

Looking back, is there anything you’d do differently here?

I wish I had gotten more plugged into the non-athletic community at UChicago. It was easy to fall into a rut of hanging out with mostly athletes, given that we spent so much time at Ratner. But I wish I had made more of an effort to get to know a more diverse group of people.

Any last words?

Just one last thank you to my family for all of their love and support over the years! Roll Roons!

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Maroons Legends Weekend 2017

On January 20-22, the UChicago Maroons hosted their annual Legends Weekend, as a way to both recognize and celebrate alumni.

To start things off, there was an Alumni Reception on Friday night, sponsored by the generosity of alumni John Davey, which included food, drink, and giveaways for former players, friends and families. Additionally, alumni were invited to watch the Maroons take on Brandeis University, where they were also honored center court, during halftime.

However, there was also a tribute to former head coach John Angelus, made even more special by his two sons being in attendance. Angelus, who passed away at the age of 82, came aboard as Maroons head coach in 1975, after previously serving as an assistant to Joseph Stampf. Angelus went on to coach UChicago men’s basketball for 16 years, while also playing the part of head baseball coach from 1971-78. Between his two leadership roles, Angelus totaled an impressive 201 wins.

Saturday, past and present Maroons got together to play a friendly game of basketball, where there was a heavy focus on having fun on offense…

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And on Sunday, alumni were invited out to watch the Maroons play their last home game of the month, against New York University.

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Thank you to all the alumni for coming out and continuing to support the program, as well as making Legends Weekend a success. Maroon Pride!

Maroons Prospect Camp: Round Two

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Last weekend, the Maroons got a chance to host a second pair of one-day prospective camps. The camps, which sold out early, featured head coach Mike McGrath, the staff, and team showing high schoolers what the experience of playing basketball at the University of Chicago looks like, while also teaching skills and fundamentals to help campers improve.

Campers and their families had a chance to learn about the men’s basketball program, as well as the university itself.

“We were so glad to be able to host a second round of camp this offseason,” said coach McGrath. “From a basketball perspective, the kids got to go through drills and compete in games, which hopefully gave them an idea of what to expect from college ball. The coaching staff and our team were always available to spread knowledge on the program, and answer questions about attending the University of Chicago. The campers also walked away with fundamental information about the school and campus, via information sessions and campus tours.”

“We treat these camps differently than a lot of places – the focus is not on recruiting, but having fun playing the game with and against great guys from around the countryThe focus is on becoming a better player and developing connections with other players. This is an emphasis of our program and one that we enjoy sharing with the camper.”

A huge thank you to all the campers and their families that came out. Please check out the photo gallery above, for an inside look at what went on this weekend. Maroon pride!

Maroons Prospect Camp: A Taste Of Collegiate Basketball

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Earlier this month, the Maroons held a pair of one-day prospect camps. There, high school students got to experience a taste of what collegiate basketball at the University of Chicago both looks and feels like; it was also a great chance for the campers and their families to learn about the university itself. The camps were hosted by head coach Mike McGrath and assistant coaches Jason Petti, Bryan Joel, Jonathan Chimino, Colin Chisholm and Rasheed Rosenje, as well as members of the team itself.

“Camp this year was a great success,” said coach McGrath. “The kids seemed to have a lot of fun, and most importantly, the coaching staff had the opportunity to both pass down some veteran knowledge on the game, plus answer any questions they may have had about attending school here. We were able to provide a look into college hoops, while showcasing what UChicago has to offer too.”

One camper, showed some love on the team’s official Twitter page.

Attendees ran practice drills, played full games, took campus tours and partook in information sessions hosted by the admissions office about things like the application process.

“Opportunities like these are a good way for us to extend information to others about first our men’s basketball program, but also the broader university environment. I think this is extremely valuable for the kids, and the best part is that they get to learn something while having fun.”

The Maroons will be holding a second camp in September, similar to this one. Here is what to expect:

And for more information closer to the date, check out UChicago’s athletic site: http://athletics.uchicago.edu/sports/mbkb/index

A big thank you to everyone who came out to camp this summer. Maroon pride!

Welcome to A Maroon Minute!

Welcome to “A Maroon Minute,” the latest way for you to stay connected with University of Chicago Men’s Basketball! Whether you’re alumni, a current UChicago student, a fan of the team, or just passionate about college hoops in general…you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll learn about the program, get to know the current team, and keep up with the season.

Hopefully you’re already connected with us on both Facebook and Twitter, but if not, please take a second to do so!

The 2014-2015 season is just around the corner. Stay tuned for player q and a’s, gym footage, game previews and more.

We’re so glad to have you join us on this journey.  Maroon Pride!