Athletes of the week

Stephen Exarhos

Laura Aerts:
Women’s Basketball

1. How have you and your team grown over the winter break?
We definitely got to know each other better off the court, to say the least! Living basically on top of each other for three straight weeks really tested us as individuals. Also, with the longer break and lack of games, we had time to work on the little things before putting everything together again. One last word: MOHAWK.2. What are the team’s goals for the remainder of the season?
Our biggest goal is to get better every practice and every game.

3. How much has playing basketball at Lawrence over the past four years improved your ability?
Playing basketball at LU has helped me grow as a person more than anything. With three coaches in four years, I had to [be willing to] adjust and buy into different philosophies. The women’s basketball program has gone through some ups and downs in the past couple of years, and I am thankful for all the girls that were/are willing to help keep the program alive. LU basketball has definitely helped me improve my dance repertoire and public speech abilities … to a little more than no skill whatsoever in each.

4. What’s the weirdest thing that you have ever seen in a basketball game?
Some girl punting the basketball at another girl’s face. [She] literally punted it.

5. Do you have any pregame, in-game or post-game rituals?
I try to avoid S&P at all costs and everyone on our team eats a lollipop the day of a game … so on away games, we have to find a confectionary. KRVE [junior forward Katie Van Es] works at a candy shop, so she usually throws in her expert opinions. During warm-ups, Sammer and I work on ball-handling and defense together.

John Dekker:
Men’s Basketball

1. How challenging has it been to live up to the expectations brought from the last few years of Lawrence basketball?
I think we welcome the expectations that have been placed on us by prior Lawrence teams, we would rather be the team that everyone is shooting to be rather then trying establish ourselves. At the same time we understand the position our past success has put us in and that opposing teams give us their best shot every time they play us.

2. What are your personal goals for the rest of the season?
My personal goals for the rest of the season is to do whatever I can do to help the team win another conference championship, get back to the conference tournament and ultimately the NCAA tournament. The last few senior classes have all won three conference championships in their four years here, and our class has a chance to do the same.

3. What is your favorite part about playing basketball at Lawrence?
The best part of playing basketball at Lawrence is the friendships I’ve made with my teammates. Also knowing that when I’m done playing basketball at Lawrence these friendships will last into the future.

4. Would you rather drain a three or complete a three-point play at the free-throw line?
I would rather complete a three-point play at the free-throw line. I shoot a lot of threes, so I’m used to making those, but getting fouled and making the shot sends a message and can give your team momentum.

5. Who is your favorite player or team in the NBA?
My favorite NBA player is Carmelo Anthony. I just have always liked the way he has played since he was at Syracuse. And I try to mimic his offensive game because he can score from anywhere on the court anyway he wants to. My favorite team is the Bucks because I’m from Wisconsin. Unfortunately, they haven’t given me much to cheer about the last few years.