Q and A with Men's Basketball Seniors

Q and A with Men's Basketball Seniors

By Caroline Ballard
Sports Information Intern
Washington University in St. Louis

 The Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team will honor its three seniors prior to Saturday's contest against the University of Chicago – Michael Bregman, CJ Harrington and Clinton Hooks.

The senior class has helped guide the Bears to a 79-23 (.775) overall record with three NCAA Tournament appearances and the 2014 and 2017 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships. 

The trio reflected on the past four years at WashU with Sports Information Intern Caroline Ballard.

What made you choose to come to WashU? 
Michael Bregman:  Upon meeting Coach Edwards and Coach Lawson at the WashU camp, I felt like they were coaches who truly believed in me and my ability to help WashU win a championship. WashU was also a great opportunity for me to live and experience a different part of the country outside of New York.

CJ Harrington: Washington University is of course an excellent academic institution which I knew I needed in order to pursue my dreams. It also has amazing professors and great students. I ultimately chose WashU because of the Ervin Scholars Program and a potential opportunity to play basketball.

Clinton Hooks I chose to attend WashU for the unique opportunity of competing for a national championship while attending a school that highly values academics. 

How do you balance your schedule between basketball and school?  
Bregman: Basketball season makes it easier to get schoolwork done and excel in the classroom as you have a regimented schedule every day from October to March. Creating that daily schedule allows me to stay focused on one thing, either schoolwork or basketball, at any given time.

Harrington: I think I'm able to balance schoolwork and basketball because of my mom.  When I first started playing competitive basketball in fourth grade, my mom said I needed to make straight A's if she was going to let me play. I learned at an early age how to plan my academics in advance and how to balance everything else I wanted to be involved in and that same strategy stays with me today.

Hooks: Having clear priorities on my mind always helped me balance time and know what I had to do to succeed athletically and academically. 

What have you learned from playing under head coach Mark Edwards? 
Bregman: So many things. Most significantly, coach taught me to focus on the process, not the outcome. Coach taught me to only focus on the things that were in my control (effort, attitude, etc.) and to not allow things outside of my control to disrupt my focus and ability to compete in any given moment. If you can do that on a daily basis, the outcome will take care of itself.

Harrington: I've been able to learn a lot from coach Edwards: what competition really means, how you have to play with confidence, and many others. Yet, I think the lesson I have learned most from coach is his leadership style.  Some people might wrestle with the question of whether it is better to be feared or loved. However, Coach simply makes his unconditional love for us abundantly clear and allows us to respond accordingly. By no means does that mean he's easy on us (just watch him whenever one of us makes a dumb play). It does mean, however, that he is willing to fight for us, and because of that, I think we fight for him.

Hooks: Being around Coach Edwards has taught me how to compete day in and day out for a long time without losing focus on my goals.

What is your favorite basketball memory at WashU? 
Bregman: Winning the Lee Pfund Classic at Wheaton College, my sophomore year.

Harrington: My favorite basketball memory is actually making the team.  Having been cut my freshman year after trying out, it had always been my goal to play for this program and help us get that third National Championship trophy, however I could.  So, after try-outs during my sophomore year, Coach called me into his office and asked me "So, what's going through your head right now?"  Given that I'd been cut in a similar fashion the previous year, I was thinking "Not again," but I chose silence as the best approach to this question.  Then, he smiled and told me "There's a spot on the team for you this year."

Hooks: My favorite WashU memory is winning our last five conference games my junior year. We struggled through much of the year losing several very close games and being able to pull our season together and finish on a high note was very rewarding.

What are your future plans upon graduating from WashU? 
Bregman: Returning to New York and working at Nomura, a Japanese Bank. 

Harrington: I plan on attending law school next year at Stanford, Harvard, Columbia or Yale.

Hooks:  I will be working for Citi in New York City when I graduate.