The St. Ambrose University Men’s Basketball Team has high hopes for this upcoming season. With a rather young team, Coach Ray Shovlain actively promotes hard work and dedication to each practice. One of the main components of the SAU Men’s Basketball Team is to win as a team.
Junior point guard Will Spriggs has been playing for SAU these past three years on the varsity team. Considering how goals are never easy to obtain, Spriggs embraces an uplifting attitude.
“I think we will reach our season goals by staying positive and continually improving every day,” said Spriggs. “We have to be able to battle the emotional roller coaster that comes with a basketball season.”
It is without question that being a student athlete can remain heavy on a players mind. However, academic stress can be withered down with the support and encouragement of teammates.
“The relationship with my teammates is like a family. They’re all my brothers. We have a great relationship,” said Spriggs. “As one of the upperclassmen, I found sometimes it makes me feel like a dad to 15 sons.”
Senior center Patrick Torrey has played with SAU for four years and upholds more of a role model status to his younger teammates. Torrey emphasizes mental strength and team chemistry. As one of the oldest players on the team, his perspective on the team has changed over the years. For this year’s season Torrey intends to channel his focus not only to improve individually, but to assist his fellow teammates in every way possible.
“This season we need to not play down to the level of our competitors. We have a strong team that works hard every day,” said Torrey. “We need to work on playing up to our standards and that starts with the mental part of the game.”
One of the opposing teams that SAU is most looking forward to playing is Olivet Nazarene University. ONU has been one of the main rivals over time for SAU. In the past years, SAU Men’s Basketball has worked incredibly hard in order to beat teams such as ONU.
“Olivet lost one of their best players last year which called for them to change a lot of things about their game such as speed and intensity,” said Torrey. “This is something we need to take advantage of when we compete against them.”
One concept that remains consistent in the ability to win games is embracing the love for a sport. Will Spriggs demonstrates how passion and the unwillingness to give up have helped him push through the mental struggles of being in season.
“The feeling I get on the court is like if you were to go into outer space and be able to breathe. I feel free and confident,” said Spriggs. “I feel as though I can be and express myself in any way. When I’m on the court that’s the real me.”
Join the SAU Men’s Basketball team at their season opener on November 2nd at 7:30 p.m. CDT or watch the live stream located on the SAU Athletics webpage!