Xavier Center gives us an inside look at the life of a Musketeer
By: Matt Stainbrook ~Staff Writer~
As the basketball season approaches, I was offered the opportunity to write about what
a typical day consists of for me, both as a college basketball player and a student.
Although Twitter, Instagram, newspapers and other forms of media provide a good insight into
what goes on throughout the season, they often do not show everything. I want to do my best to show a true day as a Xavier men’s basketball player.
So here we go: I wake up most mornings by at least nine o’clock. We practice six days a week, with one off day that varies based on games and travel. We currently practice twice a day every Tuesday and Thursday (8 a.m. and 3 p.m.), and that requires waking up at 6:45 a.m.
One thing that people don’t always know is that we have weightlifting twice a week, no matter the circumstances. This means that even if we have two games or are traveling on the road for
three days, we will lift.
At last year’s Big East tournament in New York City, we traveled to a local health club and used their weights in order to get in our biweekly lift.
I typically lift midmorning on Tuesdays and Thursdays because those are the days I have fewer classes. At this point, many people find their late mornings and early afternoons
filled with classes.
Almost all players have class every day. After class comes practice.
Practice starts at 3 p.m., sometimes starting with a film of our previous game on what we need to work on.
Practice is a gauntlet. We compete in many aspects of practice, keeping stats and scores, deeming winners and losers. It ends around 5 or 5:30 p.m., giving players enough time to shower and head to any night classes they might have. For a lot of players the end of practice brings a chance to go to the cafeteria to grab dinner and then head off to study tables, which start at 7 p.m.
This is mandatory for freshmen and players who do not have a cumulative 3.0 GPA. This helps
them set aside time to study and prepare for their classes ahead.
Also, mixed in throughout the day is an academic meeting with an advisor once a week, meetings with coaches and film sessions.
This is a typical preseason day for my teammates and me.
When the season starts, a whole new dynamic is added to my day. This is the time where life gets hectic and there are few moments to rest and relax.
For an away game, we travel to wherever we are playing one day in advance, which means if we play Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Omaha, we fly out on Monday after practice.
This means that if you are going to miss class, you need to contact your teacher ahead of time to figure out when you will make up missed work.
In an often already packed schedule, making up test or turning in homework early before road games becomes a necessity. Another area that gains more attention during the season is media.
Interviews and photo shoots become a game-day ritual; coach Mack and various players speak to both TV and print media at press conferences.
With all of this being said, I by no means want it to sound like we are overworked or treated unfairly. I wanted to show that with all of the perks and rewards for being an athlete, there are also many responsibilities.
As a scholarship athlete, I understand that my skills on the court and in the classroom are being compensated through my financial aid and the experiences we get live.
We travel to parts of the country that many people do not get the opportunity to and we do so in chartered flights.
We stay at some of the nicest hotels and are fed good meals, while still getting the opportunity to get an education from one of the best universities in the country. I am appreciative for my opportunity to play for such a passionate fan base and look forward to the season.
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