At least one student-athlete from each Association school will blog about a UAA basketball road weekend this season.
Waller Perez, University of Chicago
My name is Waller Perez and I am senior on the University of Chicago men’s basketball team. I can truly say that in my four years here, I have created some of my best memories. Being a member of the men’s basketball team has equipped me with many skills that actually extend beyond basketball. It has also been a blessing to be able to travel all across the country due to our conference play in the UAA.
For our team, our Thursday was structured as such:
7:00 a.m. Practice
11:00 a.m. Leave gym for the airport (eat a nutritious meal at the airport)
1:20 p.m. Depart for Boston
4:35 p.m. Arrive in Boston
5:30 p.m. Check in to hotel
7:30 p.m. Team dinner
Friday night games, to me, are the most energetic games in the UAA. Both teams consistently come ready to perform and we knew that Brandeis would come prepared as we beat them earlier in the season. Usually, Friday night games are filled with a pretty good crowd (in this case, perhaps to their advantage). However, our team was able to pull a great win against a tough Brandeis team!
Our Friday night looked like this:
10:00 a.m. Breakfast at hotel
11:30 a.m. Depart for Brandeis
12:00 p.m. Walk-through at Brandeis
4:00 p.m. Nutritious pre-game meal
5:30 p.m. Head to Brandeis for game
8:00 p.m. Tip-off against Brandeis
10:30 p.m. Post-game meal
On Saturday, we would be traveling to New York in order to play NYU. This weekend we were able to realize how fortunate we are as a basketball team because a lot of my teammates find this as one of the best trips to be a part of in the UAA. We always enjoy our stay in New York.
7:30 a.m. Breakfast at the hotel
8:00 a.m. Depart for practice at Brandeis
8:30 a.m. Practice
10:30 a.m. Depart for New York
1:30 p.m. Lunch at Jamie Kockenmeister’s (member of the women’s basketball team) family’s house
4:30 p.m. Check in at hotel
8:00 p.m. Alumni Dinner
I think it’s fair to say that Sunday UAA games are by far the toughest games to play in. There are many teams in the UAA that can probably vouch for this. We usually have to wake up pretty early (earlier than Friday night games, obviously) and we have to find it within ourselves, due to having smaller crowds, in order to pull off the win. Usually, the team that has more heart wins the game. I am happy to say that the Maroons had more heart this Sunday as we beat a talented NYU team.
This is what Sunday looked like for the Maroons:
8:30 a.m. Pre-game meal at hotel
9:15 a.m. Depart for game
12:00 p.m. Tip-off against NYU
2:00 p.m. Postgame UAA reception
5:00 p.m. Depart for airport
8:55 p.m. Depart for Chicago
10:25 p.m. Arrive at Midway Airport
11:30 p.m. Arrive back on campus
All in all, this is was a great weekend for us as we beat both teams! It’s actually my favorite trip in the UAA. It’s sad that my career as a men’s basketball player at the University of Chicago is coming to an end. I will definitely miss the many trips we have had in the UAA. I am fully aware that there aren’t many Division III teams in the country that have the opportunity to travel to the locations we are fortunate to travel to. These trips help nourish character. In addition, you have an amazing opportunity to build relationships that will (hopefully) never be broken. I have developed relationships with my teammates that will never be forgotten. As my career comes to end, I want to advise others after me to truly cherish the moments they have with their teammates and playing the game. Time flew by for me and I guarantee that it will fly for you.
Waller Perez, a senior forward, currently leads the UAA in field goal percentage (58.6 percent) and ranks eighth in scoring (15.3 points per game) in Association play. He also ranks among the top-20 in rebounds and offensive rebounds per game.