UChicago

Senior Sendoff: Waller Perez

We’ve got our last sendoff, on deck. Let us see what Waller Perez has learned over his four years at UChicago.

Waller Perez, No. 10, Forward

What has been the best part about being a member of the Maroons?
 
The best part of being a member of the University of Chicago men’s basketball team has been the relationships that I was fortunate enough to develop over the years. In addition, I enjoyed being able to visit the extraordinary locations we traveled to.
 
What about of being a UChicago student?
 
I enjoyed the intellectual discourse that I would have with my friends because I believe it has helped me grow as an individual. In addition, I was exposed to people from different parts of the world which I found to be one of my favorite parts of being a UChicago student.
 
Of all the time you’ve spent playing over the last four years, what is your favorite on-court memory?
 
There are many. However, one of my favorite on-court memories was when Jake Fenlon poster-dunked an opponent. In addition, I enjoyed beating WashU who was ranked No.1 in the country my sophomore year.
 
And how about when it comes to off-the-court, with teammates?
 
Off-the-court, I enjoyed traveling to Australia and New Zealand. That was my absolute favorite experience with my teammates.
 
Is there a certain matchup you’ve always looked forward to?
 
I have always looked forward to playing against WashU, Emory, and Carnegie. To me, they were the most physical teams we competed against.
 
What is the best piece of advice you’ve gotten, during your time as a Maroon?
 
I was once told by a mentor that work ethic always catches up to you. I have been a huge believer of that ever since.
 
What words of wisdom do you have for the teammates you’re leaving behind?
 
Always cherish your time as a UChicago Maroon, because time does go by faster than you think.
 
What will you miss most about UChicago, as a whole?
 
I will certainly miss being able to see my friends on the daily. I will also miss the Summer Breeze concerts that I have attended in the past years.
Looking back, is there anything you’d do differently here?
 
Nothing. My college experience was full of learning lessons and I would not exchange my experiences for other ones.

Senior Sendoff: Blaine Crawford

Another sendoff is here. This time Blaine Crawford takes a stroll down memory lane.

Blaine Crawford, No. 44, Forward

Senior Sendoff: Tyler Howard

Today, it is time for Tyler Howard to do a little reflecting on the last four years…

Tyler Howard, No. 11, Guard

 

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

Making lifelong friendships with such an amazing group of guys, and being able to travel the country (and world) with them. We had some unbelievable experiences together, that I will remember for the rest of my life.

What about of being a UChicago student?

The most rewarding aspect about being a student at UChicago is the exposure to so many brilliant people from around the world, and listening to their unique perspectives and beliefs. The discussions with my peers and faculty members have been instrumental to my growth as a person over the last four years.

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

My favorite on-court memory is actually a game I didn’t play in, when sophomore Noah Karras broke the school record and made 11 three’s against Case at home! It was amazing to see him step up and put the team on his back. Every time he shot a three, the entire gym thought it was going in, and it was awesome celebrating with the guys on the bench after each one.

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

I would say the entire Australia/New Zealand trip was the best two weeks of my life. My favorite memories from that trip always started when the song ‘Energy’ by Drake came on… it always put us in the right mindset to keep our energy up throughout the trip, even if we were exhausted!

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

When I was a freshman, I loved being on WashU’s scout team because their offense was a blast and I always had the green light to shoot! Throughout my career, my favorite in-practice matchup has been with my arch-nemesis: Alex Goose Gustafson. We always matched up when we played one-on-one, and during shooting drills we kept track of our made shots to make it a competition. Even with one leg, Goose always gave me a run for my money! I also can’t forget to mention the rivalry I had my senior year with freshman Cole Schmitz. Cole was much more skilled and physically gifted than I was, so whenever we matched up, I used my veteran instinct and mental edge to gain the advantage… I’m excited to see if he uses any of the moves I taught him next season!

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

There are so many incredible words of wisdom passed down from alums over the years, but I think the one that will stick with me the most is something my good friend Adam Butterfield once told me: “call everyone’s bluff.”

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

Enjoy every moment with your teammates!

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

I’ll miss seeing my teammates and friends everyday, and having the freedom to decide what I do with my schedule.

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

I wouldn’t change a thing!

Any last words?

I can’t thank my parents and family enough for all their support throughout my basketball career, and my time as student. Without them, there is no way I would be where I am today.

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!

2017 Maroons Prospect Camp

This past weekend, the Maroons held a pair of one-day prospect camps, geared towards high school juniors and seniors. Hosted by head coach Mike McGrath, assistant coaches Jason Petti and Bryan Joel and the men’s basketball team,  the camp served as a way to learn about collegiate basketball here at the University of Chicago, as well as the university itself.

“Last weekend was a tremendous success,” said coach McGrath. “The campers seemed to really enjoy themselves, while also learning a great amount from the coaching staff and team. We made sure to pass down some knowledge about playing college basketball and answered questions they may have had about attending school as a Maroon; we wanted to provide a look into both our program and UChicago as a whole. I believe this is of utmost importance for the kids, and they get to have fun while learning something valuable.”

On a basketball level, the kids participated in practice drills and played full games.

“Our prospect camp is great opportunity for guys to get a sense of how they match up against other potential college basketball players,” explains junior guard Jake Fenlon. “Additionally, by running the same drills we do everyday in practice, the campers are able to get a feel for what collegiate basketball is really all about. From understanding what it takes to be able to score within a college offense, to developing defensively, our camp activities serve as a way to educate high school players on what is potentially to come.”

However, they also took a tour of the campus and attended information sessions hosted by the admissions office, about things such as the application process.

“Attending our camp is a great way for kids to learn about the unique culture here at UChicago,” says freshman guard Jordan Baum. “It also lets guys see the campus that may not have had the opportunity to otherwise, on top of getting first-hand information from the admissions staff. They also get to meet the team and ask questions about what the school is like, and how to best transition to life as a collegiate student-athlete.”

The camp certainly served as a tool for parents to learn more too.

The Maroons want to extend a huge thank you to all of the players and their families, for coming out and spending a part of their weekend in Ratner Athletics Center. The program will be hosting a second weekend of camp in September, although dates have yet to be set. For more information closer to the fall, visit our website at: http://athletics.uchicago.edu/sports/mbkb/index 

And for a look back at some of the best moments from this round of camp, check out the slideshow below…

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Maroon Pride!

The 2016-17 Senior Class: Waller Perez

Finishing up our senior series, it is time to check out Waller Perez’s four years with the team…

Perez, a 6-5 forward out of Berywn, Illinois, has played in 81 games during his time as a Maroon, having started in 71 of them. He averaged 10.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists a game over his four years at UChicago, with his numbers coming in at a fantastic 15.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per matchup, his senior year.

With that, he led the team in points for 2016-17, alongside also totaling the fourth-highest field-goal shooting percentage for a season in school history, at 58.3 percent. He also holds the number one spot for career field-goal shooting, with 55.2 percent.

The forward recorded 25 points on November 27 against DePauw University, as well as on December 18 versus Rhodes College.

Due to his impressive run this season, Perez was named Second Team All-UAA. This is after already being selected to the UChicago All-Tournament team.

Perez will finish his time as a Maroon, ranking first in school history in field-goal percentage, with a whopping 55.2 percent.

He totals 873 points, 311 rebounds and 119 assists.

Getting his degree in economics, Perez is already pursuing a job in banking and equity research.

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Congratulations to Waller Perez on a great run as a University of Chicago Maroon. His hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed, and will be greatly missed by the program. Best of luck to him, as he begins his new chapter of life!

The 2016-17 Senior Class: Blaine Crawford

Today, we look back at Blaine Crawford’s career at the University of Chicago…

Crawford, a 6-8 forward out of St. Paul, Minnesota, has played in 83 games over the last four years, starting 23 games as a senior. Averaging 7.5 points and 5.4 rebounds a matchup over his career, the big man had a tremendous 2016-17 season: in 28.5 minutes of play, Crawford averaged 15.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per contest.

This placed him second on the team in scoring, and first in rebounding.

He was named UAA Player of the Week on two separate occasions this year, also having been voted the UChicago Tournament’s Most Valuable Player. And most recently, Crawford was honored with making First Team All-UAA.

The senior posted a season-high 26 points on December 18 at Rhodes University, having also grabbed 9 rebounds. And on December 20, Crawford grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds at Illinois Wesleyan University, where he posted 15 points as well.

In fact, he recorded a double-double on 11 occasions this year.

Crawford’s season field-goal percentage (61.7 percent) is the second-highest in UChicago history, while also leading the UAA in said category and ranking No. 20 in NCAA Division III basketball period. He also comes in No. 8 in free throws in a season (103) and No. 9 in rebounds in a season (229).

In total, the forward finishes his career as a Maroon with a total of 621 points and 446 rebounds.

Upon graduation with a degree in Political Science, Crawford is going to work for Accenture, as a management consulting analyst. He also plans on attending law school, later on down the line.

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Congratulations to Blaine Crawford on a four years to remember, as a University of Chicago Maroon! He will undoubtedly be missed by not just the team, but program as a whole. Only the best of luck to him, on his future endeavors.

The 2016-17 Senior Class: Alex Gustafson

Our ode to the 2016-17 seniors continue, this time highlighting Alex Gustafson’s career as a University of Chicago Maroon.

Gustafson, a 6-3 guard from Oak Park, has seen time in 32 games over his four years at UChicago. Averaging 1.0 point and 1.0 rebound a contest during this time, the senior had his fair share of trouble with injury. Although he participated in 22 contests as a freshman and sophomore, Gustafson was unfortunately sidelined only after five games during his junior year. Due to similar circumstances, he also only played in five matchups in the team’s 2016-17 campaign.

However, while on the court, Gustafson wasted no time being productive; as a freshman, he recorded 12 points and 9 rebounds against the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Despite being unable to see much time on the floor, the Illinois native still acted as a superb motivator for the rest of the squad. Whether from the bench at games, a participant during practice or just hanging out with teammates, Gustafson became a strong source of support for the Maroons. He was also named to the UAA All-Academic team two years in a row.

As he graduates this spring with a degree in Public Policy, Gustafson has already begun pursuing a job in financial services.

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Congratulations to Alex Gustafson for being a key member of the University of Chicago Maroons. His leadership both on and off of the court will be greatly missed, and we wish him nothing but the best of luck, moving forward!

The 2016-17 Senior Class: Tyler Howard

As the University of Chicago Maroons defeated the Washington University in St. Louis Bears on Saturday, February 25, the 2016-17 season officially came to an end.

The Maroons closed out this year with a 16-9 overall record, going 8-6 in the University Athletic Association. The team won eight games at home and seven on the road, some of their best victories including defeats over WashU and No. 4 nationally ranked University of Rochester.

Leading the way this year were seniors Blaine Crawford, Alex Gustafson, Tyler Howard and Waller Perez, each having contributed in their own unique ways.

And today, it is time to look back at Howard’s time with UChicago.

Howard, a 6-foot guard out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has played in 82 games over his career as a Maroon, starting in 73 of them. Having averaged 8.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists a game over his four years here, the senior had a strong 2016-17 performance: Howard averaged 9.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.0 assists per matchup this past season.

He also led the team in steals with 26, and posted the fifth-most season assists in school history, with 119.

The guard scored a season-high 18 points versus Carroll University on November 26, while also totaling 17 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists against Kalamazoo College on December 3.

However, Howard made a name for himself well before his senior year.

During UChicago’s 2014-15 campaign, Howard placed himself third in the history books for steals, with 46. He also came in fourth in assists, with 129.

Overall, Howard finishes No. 2 in total assists with 346, and is tied for the No. 6 spot in total steals, with 97.

He will also finish his career with 698 points and 246 rebounds.

Upon graduating with degrees in Public Policy and Psychology, Howard will be working for Stout Risius Ross as an investment banker.

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Congratulations to Tyler Howard, on a remarkable run as a University of Chicago Maroon. And a huge thank you to his family, for all of the support they have provided the program over the years. Here is to a bright future ahead!

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!