One on One with Connor Boehm '16

by Lily Gordon | 1/4/15 9:40pm

Men’s basketball power forward Connor Boehm drained a buzzer-beating three-pointer to lead the Big Green to victory against Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne on Nov. 28, earning Boehm a SportsCenter Top 10 play. This week I spoke with Boehm about the ups and downs of the Big Green’s 2014-2015 season, pre-game rituals and becoming an upperclassman on the team.

After starting the season 1-4, you’ve since improved to 6-6 . What specifically have you been working on? Where do you feel you need the most improvement?

CB: We started off pretty slow. As the season goes on, and in the future, I think we will continue to get better at winning close games and learning to play better as a group. But in the future we really need to just stay patient on offense and playing better team basketball, not relying on just one player to win games.

What does your typical practice schedule look like during the week? Is it any different over the winter break?

CB: We get a lot of downtime up here over the winter break. Typically, we’ll practice about three hours. Depending upon when our game is, we might spend a good amount of time watching films of the other team. We have a lot of guys this year and have a very deep team so we love to scrimmage a lot during practices. Things can get pretty competitive out there, but that’s usually a good sign.

Do you or any of your teammates have any pre-game rituals?

CB: We all do our own little individual things before games, whether its just stretching or wearing your headphones out there on the court playing heavy metal or rap music. We like to kind of go off and do our own thing, but then right before the game we’ll all get down together for one last moment of either prayer or reflection and then we’re ready to go.

Do you notice a difference this season as you and your classmates have transitioned to upperclassmen on the team?

CB: We’ve definitely been a young team the past few years, but now we’ve finally matured. There are a lot of juniors and seniors, and then even the lowerclassmen have gotten some playing time to start to mature as well. At the beginning of the year it kind of showed that we weren’t totally used to playing together and taking on that leadership role as we lost a lot of close games. We’ve started to become more confident in ourselves and as a team so that in the future we can play better together and trust one another out there on the court. Our maturity and our experience will help us along the way the rest of this season, especially in these close games.

Do you have any words of advice you would like to give to your younger teammates?

CB: For the younger guys on the team I would just constantly remind them to go into practice and practice hard every day. It’s definitely a big transition from the high school to college level and our season. It’s a long grinding season. But when I was a freshman the juniors and seniors on the team did a great job of teaching us that no matter what, no matter how much your body hurts, or you have a big test that day and don’t want to practice, it’s two hours of the day that you just have to grind through and go real hard.

When you’re not on the court, how do you like to spend your free time?

CB: I really like spending time with the rest of my teammates, just joking around maybe playing some video games. Over the past few days we’ve all been watching the Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family. I’m trying to get the guys to watch the Twilight one with me on Friday but we’ll have to see about that. We’re really just normal college students who like to hang around and have a good time.

This interview has been edited and condensed.