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!