October 26, 2007

Bronco Basketball Through Freshmen Eyes

Oct. 26, 2007

Santa Clara, Calif. - As a college freshman, making the transition from life at home to life at college can be hard enough. However, imagine that on top of all of the typical freshmen experiences you are a member of the Santa Clara men's basketball team as well. For freshmen Ben Dowdell, Scott Thompson, and Andrew Zimmerman, this is all a reality. Santaclarabroncos.com sat down with the three freshmen players to see how life at Santa Clara has been so far and what their hopes are for the future.

Santaclarabroncos.com: So all three of you are almost done with your first quarter here at Santa Clara, how has it been so far?

Ben Dowdell: It's been pretty busy, not a lot of time. But that's how it all works. It's hard work to try and get everything done but that's how it all works.

SCB: How has the transition been from high school to college so far?

Scott Thompson: I haven't found it that hard because I had summer school before this quarter, so that kind of made the transition a lot easier. We did workouts almost everyday, weights and stuff, so the summer helped out a lot. We all hang out with each other, so that's been great too in terms of getting to know everybody on the team. The hardest part has been trying to get to know everyone else around the school; we're always constantly meeting so many new people so name recognition can be hard, but I'm getting better at it hopefully.

SCB: All three of you are from out of state, even from out of the country (Ben Dowdell is from New South Wales, Australia). How has it been adjusting here to life in California?

BD: It's been pretty good. The weather is pretty similar to where I'm from and that's nice. The people are pretty cool and pretty friendly and nice to me, so that's been an easy transition.

SCB: Any homesickness?

ST: We don't have any time to be homesick!

SCB: What is a typical day for you guys?

Andrew Zimmerman: Well, today I woke up at 7:50. I had to go to therapy, and then had to go at class at 9:15, then a class at 10:30. Went to get food, had about a half an hour of free time, went to talk to the coaches, another class, and then came here to practice. I've been in my room for maybe a half an hour total today so far. And that's pretty typical for all three of us.

SCB: What are your goals for the season, both personally and for the team?

BD: The team goal is definitely to win the WCC, that's everything right now. Personally, I just want to be able to contribute this year as a freshman. I want to be able to help out the team as much as I can and have a successful season.

AZ: Right now I just want to get healthy. I have a herniated disk and Scott just had an appendectomy, so we're both just trying to get healthy to play right now and get ready for the season.

SCB: So coming from high school athletics to collegiate sports, how hard has it been to adjust to such a strict schedule here at school?

BD: Well, I've been away from home for about two years now, and this is something that I've wanted to do, so it's not anything too unique for me now.

ST: Its fine, I don't really find all of it that hard. It's something I've wanted for a long time.

AZ: I was really competitive about basketball at home, so I'm kind of used to it.

SCB: How has it been working and interacting with all of the older players on the team? Have they given you any advice?

AZ: It's been really nice, just being here over the summer, and getting to know some of the older guys like Brody and Mitch. Summer school was a huge help in terms of meeting the guys and getting to know them all really well before the season started.

ST: Yeah, the older guys have all been really great about giving lots of advice and stuff.

SCB:All three of you are new to Santa Clara this year, and your head coach, Kerry Keating, is new to Santa Clara as well. How has it been working with him?

ST: He's been the best coach that I've ever had. He's tough but at the same time very personable. You don't take anything he says personal; you know he's trying to help you out.

AZ: You know that when he's correcting something, it's for your own good. You know he works hard for you so he just makes you want to play harder for him.

BD: He's so enthusiastic and gets you to where you want to be as a player.

SCB: So then when you do have any downtime, what do you like to do in your spare time?

ST: Sleep as much as possible. (All three laugh)