Sendell spurs senior night success

This past weekend, the women’s and men’s basketball teams both had their senior nights, where they faced off against their conference rivals, Illinois College. The women unfortunately lost 61-40, but the men’s game was a nailbiter and our Vikes took the win with less than a minute left in the game, winning 79 to 76. 

What is senior night? It is a game dedicated to the senior athletes, where they are recognized for all their past achievements and contributions to the team throughout their time playing at Lawrence. This week I interviewed junior Brad Sendell, who, in the game prior (against St. Norbert), scored over 1,000 points so far in his career here at Lawrence, doing it in only two seasons! Also interviewed was senior Jason Dougherty, who had torn his ACL last year, but was able to play for a few minutes at the start of the game against Illinois College where he was a key player and scored six points in just four minutes!

Kelli Quick: I heard you tore your ACL a while back. How has that impacted you as a player and a person? Did you learn anything from it? Was it a blessing or a curse or both? Why?

Jason Dougherty: Yes, I did tear my ACL at the end of my junior year and I think it impacted me significantly as player and a person. As a player, it forced me to take a leadership role with the team in using my knowledge of the game to still help my team out without being on the court. Then, as a person it put me through hardships that only made me stronger. I see my ACL tear as a blessing in disguise, as it took away a year of basketball but helped define who I am.

KQ: I thought you had an amazing start at senior night; it’s hard to come back from an injury and play at the level at which you did. Taking that into consideration, how did you get to where you are now? How did you get yourself back into the game and what did you have to do to get there?

JD: To return to basketball, I was out around a year for games, went through about nine months of rehab with athletic trainer Kelsey and did a month of practicing before being cleared to dress in a game.

KQ: As a senior, what would you like to leave behind or be known for? 

JD:  As a senior, I want to be known for someone that loves the game of basketball and has impacted each one of my teammates in a positive way.

KQ: Now that the season is over, what is something you wished you or the team would have done differently or you would have liked to change? What would you say was the team’s greatest achievement this season?

JD: The only thing I would have changed about the year is that we came in focused for every single game. I personally feel like we sleep-walked into some games that we should have won if we started the game off well. Our greatest achievement as a team was traveling to Minnesota and beating a very good Northwestern team. They were a very talented team and I thought that was a game we showed our true potential of what we could have been all year.

Next, I interviewed Brad Sendell. 

KQ: Congratulations on scoring over 1,000 points; it was such an incredible moment that I felt lucky to behold. Did you have any nerves going into that game against St. Norbert, knowing that you were so close to breaking 1,000 or would you say that that goal helped to motivate you even more?

Brad Sendell: Thank you for your congratulations. It’s definitely a pretty cool accomplishment to say that I’m the only player to score 1,000 points in two years at Lawrence. I will admit that I was kind of anxious to get there. My teammates were constantly telling me how far away I was and they even made 1,000 point signs prior to the St. Norbert’s game. Definitely a relief when I hit the 1,000-point mark. Without their support and belief in me, I wouldn’t be where I am today, so shout out to them.

KQ: What did it feel like going into the next game against Illinois College, after you had previously scored over 1,000 and the fact that it was senior night? What was going through your head?

BS: I was super loose going into the IC game. I felt relieved to have that weight off my shoulders and was just happy to celebrate the seniors on their day. I think that’s part of why I had such a solid game against Illinois College.

KQ: Now that the season is over, what is something you wished you or the team would have done differently or you would have liked to change? What would you say was the team’s greatest achievement this season?

BS: The individual stuff is all well and good, but it doesn’t mean much if you don’t win games. We didn’t have the team success we expected this year, but I’m still proud of how we battled every game and ended the year on a high note.