On Thursday, March 9, and Friday, March 10, I covered the Big East tournament. It was crowded inside the locker rooms, as the press surrounded some of the best players in college basketball. I was excited to ask my questions.
“One Shining Moment” is a famous highlight reel that is shown at the end of the NCAA tournament. My mission was to find out which highlight players would like to see of themselves in the great video tribute.
Their answers were quite similar. All of the players care about their teams over themselves.
First, I went into the Villanova locker room and spoke with Dylan Painter, who came off the bench and helped the Wildcats win in their first game of the tournament. He told me that if he were to be in “One Shining Moment,” he’d like to be hugging his teammates after “winning it all.”
I then spoke with Villanova star and Big East Player of the Year Josh Hart. When asked about advice he had for kids, he said, “It’s not about who scores the most. [It’s about] playing hard.” He thinks that nowadays, there is too much emphasis on flashiness, and kids just need to go out there and play hard. I left the Villanova locker room to watch the next game.
Seton Hall defeated Marquette, so I quickly rushed to the locker room to speak with the excited players. First, I went up to the star of the game, Pirates junior forward Angel Delgado. He was one assist shy of a triple double. He told kids that they need to have the mindset of winning and being a great player to actually become a great player. He, just as Hart had, mentioned hard work.
Then I spoke to Michael Nzei, a 6’7” forward. He said that his “One Shining Moment” highlight would be to win the Big East.
The next day, Villanova picked up its second victory of the tournament (against Seton Hall, but Nzei is only a sophomore, so he still has some time to help the Pirates win it all). I asked Wildcats redshirt freshman guard Donte DiVincenzo what he’d like his highlight to be. He wanted to see a Josh Hart highlight in “One Shining Moment” to show everybody about Villanova’s work ethic.
And what has Kris Jenkins enjoyed the most this season? “Being a good role model for my teammates,” said the Wildcats senior.
Then I spoke to Creighton’s Justin Patton, who was named Big East Freshman of the Year. He said it is important to always keep a smile on your face while playing basketball and to never let the little things affect you. Patton, just like the many others I interviewed, said that he wanted to win the Big East championship for his highlight. (His Blue Jays made it to the title game but couldn’t quite keep up with Villanova.)
And what was Creighton coach Greg McDermott and his team going to do to prep for the big championship game?
“Get some sleep.”
Photographs by Andrew Zeidel