Player Diary: Humble and Hungry

Saturday, day 5

It was finally championship Saturday. This was the day we had been dreaming of since we got together this summer! This is what we have worked for all season. All the blood, sweat, tears; everything came down to this one day! It started about the same as every other day, we had an 8 o’clock team breakfast in the main building. The whole team was excited and pumped this morning! We had practice at 9:30 to go over the game plan and put some extra shots up. It was also a little fun going on. DJ Ozigbo and assistant coach Tony (Richardson) had a little one on one battle which both claim to have one…we’ll never know the truth haha. We got back to the hotel at about 11 o’clock to rest up for the big game. We layed around the hotel and talked about the memories of the season and watched the ACC tournament on television. About 4:30 we loaded up the bus and headed to the gym to watch the 3rd and 5th place game. We couldn’t wait to take the floor; It was finally time for the national championship. We gathered in the locker room before the game for our usual motivational speech from the coaches, it didn’t take much this time though; we were already motivated to bring the title back to Texas. We took the floor for warm ups and our cheering section cheered loudly, they supported us the whole week we couldn’t let them down. The tip off started and we were on our way. Unfortunately we came up short we ended up losing the game 61-55. It was a heartbreaker. The whistle just rarely seemed to be in our favor. We ended up shooting zero free-throws in the first half to their 9. Despite the difference we still were up 2 at halftime. But the difference in the fouls ended up taking a toll in the 2nd half and we couldn’t pull it off. We cried together, hugged each other and let everybody know that this season was not a failure. We had made life long bonds. I never been on a team that was so close, we are like brothers and I wanted them to know I love them despite the outcome. We had a little award ceremony, receiving our medals, plaque, and National Championship ball and Mike “Money” Love got selected to the All-Tournament team. It was his biggest achievement of the year but I know he would have traded it for that ring. We went back to the hotel and talked about the game over dinner and then everybody called it a night. It had been a long season… and it’s over.

Sunday, Day 6

It was our last day in New York. Checkout time was at 10 a.m. so we loaded the bus at about 9:30. Our plane wasn’t set to depart until 5 o’clock so we used this time to go to NYC and see sights that we all grew up seeing on TV. We drove through Harlem, the Bronx, Washington heights, and Manhattan. The bus driver also took us to Times Square… we got off the bus for a little shopping and a lot of pictures. This was going to be a great memory. We had a blast… we had what we called the “sleep chronicles” which is a collection of pictures we took when we caught people sleeping in places besides their bedroom. Nobody was safe, coaches included. We also had look alikes, for example Pierre Shires was pictured with actor/comedian Deeray Davis as his look alike. Demarcus Metcalf was pictured by Dennis Rodman. Haha trust me this caused lots of laughs and the exchanging of jokes. After that it was to the Airport, our trip was coming to an end. But by this time everybody was ready to get back to that Texas weather. This cold up north was killing us. Our story book season was over and Monday we start preparing for next season. Before I came to New York I had no plans of returning for my sophomore season, but losing in the championship like we did left a sour taste in my mouth. I talked with coach about the possibility of me coming back next season so we can make this trip again next year because I definitely have unfinished business. See ya next year Loch Sheldrake.

-Andrew Maxie




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