It’s that time of year again—basketball season. Students frantically check their email, hoping to secure Phase 1 tickets. The chosen ones wait patiently before the game, braving the winter weather in the long lines trailing from the Dean E. Smith Center. Inside, Holden Thorp’s wife jumps eagerly from her seat while “Jump Around” blares from speakers above. Wearing the number 30 jersey, Patrick Crouch warms up during the team’s pre-game shootaround.
Her Campus: When you came to UNC-CH as a freshman, did you think you would be playing Varsity basketball in two years?
Patrick: Playing varsity basketball was my ultimate goal. I knew that it would be difficult and would take a lot of work. It’s still hard to believe sometimes.
HC: How did you prepare during the summer?
Patrick: I actually did a good amount of traveling this summer, so I had to do some running when I was overseas. I got yelled at a few times in something I didn’t understand, so I’m assuming it’s not acceptable in some countries. The hard work started when I got back to the United States. I focused on a strict lifting and dieting routine, alternated distance running, sprints, jump roping, and I did a ton of shooting. Training isn’t easy, but making the team was plenty of motivation.
HC: What’s the daily life of a Carolina basketball player like?
Patrick: Since I’ve made the team my “college life” and schedule changed completely. This includes having earlier classes, heading straight to the Dome for lifting, then concluding the day with practice. There’s a lot of traveling, but that’s always fun. It’s a major commitment, but I’m not complaining.
HC: How is Varsity basketball different from JV?
Patrick: JV is an incredible program. It gave me an outlet to continue playing basketball after high school, and it led me to this great opportunity of playing D1 basketball with the best program in the country. For some reason, more fans attend varsity games though.
HC: How did it feel when you scored your first points?
Patrick: The first bucket was incredible and getting it in the Garden made it that much sweeter.
HC: What other activities are you involved in on campus?
Patrick: I’m an officer in a professional business fraternity at Kenan-Flagler, Delta Sigma Pi. I am also the Marketing Chair for the Duke-Carolina Student Basketball Marathon. The event runs from February 18 to 20 this year, so organize a team and come whoop up on some Duke students to raise money for our charity.
HC What are your plans after college? Do they include basketball?
Patrick: I would love to do something after college that involves basketball; it just may not be playing it. However, I’m definitely declaring for the Draft after next season.
HC: Which game are you most excited for this season?
Patrick: [Beating] Duke.
Members of Blue Steel
HC: How do you feel about Coach K surpassing Dean Smith in wins?
Patrick: I think Coach K passing Coach Smith says a lot about the two programs, but it definitely doesn’t take anything away from Coach Smith. He will always be a legend.
HC: Who do you consider the better athlete: LeBron or Michael, and why?
Patrick: Better athlete? LeBron is a freak. He is a dominating player and can do nonhuman things in the air. Better player, winner, champ, and, according to Coach Williams, competitor? Michael Jordan, without a doubt.
HC: Lastly, who’s the funniest guy on the team?
Patrick: Honestly, Blue Steel as a unit. We’re hilarious. T-shirts will be available soon. Follow us on twitter, @Real_BlueSteel.