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From Crisler to Campus to Crushes: Spike Albrecht Talks Michigan Basketball

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

I first met sophomore point guard Spike Albrecht right before the Indiana game outside of the Big House.  Normally, I wouldn’t try to get a celebrity’s or athlete’s attention because I know that they get too little privacy, but knowing that he and I had already emailed back and forth a few times about an interview and at the urging of my game companions, I made a small wave and he did not hesitate to walk over to me. As he stopped, fans armed with camera phones quickly lined up to take pictures with him while we were just mid- conversation. You’d think this kind of recognition would go to straight to his head, but Spike is very down to earth and personable and stopped to chat and take pictures with everyone. It was easy to tell that he’s the type of person who appreciates the attention and has no qualms giving back to his growing fan base.

We met for a Q & A session the following Wednesday at his apartment , which he shares with three of his teammates including Nik Stauskas or “Stausky” to Spike. Though many athletes live in the dorms freshman and sophomore year, Spike told me how Coach Beilein was “really cool” this year and let many of the players live together in apartments. His apartment looked like it could have belonged to your typical college sophomore, but Spike still apologized for the (minimal) mess and started clearing things off the table instinctively. We started our talk about his strong family connections, including how his family could only get to a few home games last season since the long drive from his home in Indiana is a lot to ask of the busy people who have played such a big role in how he got to where he is today.  

The real Spike truly comes across as a team player in every sense of the word; you’d think someone who has become so recognizable since the NCAA Championship Game might be self-focused, but his constant theme while we talked was the team and “we,” and he typically looked beyond himself and focused on the bigger picture at hand.



Her Campus: How has your life changed since you first stepped onto campus last fall and since last spring and the NCAA tournament run?

Spike Albrecht: Because of the way I look, I don’t immediately bring to mind what you’d think of your normal college athlete and basketball player- specifically that I am just 5’ 11”. I look like your average guy, but I’d definitely say a lot more people on campus notice me now.  Whether that’s a good or bad thing is something I don’t think too much about. The fans here are great; I always like when people come up to me and say hi. It’s always nice to interact with the students ’cause we’re normal people too.


HC: After last season’s success, how are you and your teammates handling the obvious pressure and attention, and how are you trying to cope with it?

SA: I wouldn’t say we think of it as pressure. It’s a new team with new faces, and we have to do everything all over again. It’s not about last years’ team, but at the same time we’re playing with a chip on our shoulder, and I think that’s motivating us for this year.  We didn’t win it all last year, so we’ve still got some unfinished business.    


HC: Do you think your role as point guard will change significantly this year with Trey Burke off the team and the addition of Derrick Walton?

SA: Yeah, I’d say everyone’s roles have changed.  Derrick is obviously a really good player, but I think the coaches and myself especially expect a little bit more out of me in the form of leadership and being a little bit more vocal because that’s something this team really needs from me.


HC: What are you studying at Michigan? I’ve heard you’ve expressed interest in the Ross school?

SA:  I don’t think that’s really in the playing cards anymore.  I’m probably looking more at sports management at the moment, but I’m still kind of undecided to be honest.


HC: How do you balance classes and the academic rigors of Michigan with the major commitment to basketball you have to make and the requisite practice, games and travel?

SA: It’s definitely a lot tougher than people think. Before I stereotyped and thought “Oh Division I athletes have got it easy,” but it’s definitely not easy here, especially with Coach Beilein’s focus and Michigan being such a tough school. We have athletic advisors who help us stay connected to school; even coming with us on the road to stay focused on academics. They really help with time management, which is huge because that’s something that can be hard to juggle for a 19-year-old kid.


HC: As a basketball player at this university, how do you feel about the new student ticket policy? Do you think it will affect the attendance or the atmosphere at Crisler Arena?

SA: I’m honestly not that familiar with the new student ticket policy. I just know that a lot of the students were not happy about it, so I’m hoping that won’t affect the fans coming out and cheering us on. I hope they’re all still there packing Crisler and being as loud as ever, because that’s what makes it fun and we love that.


HC: How do you feel about the recent attention drawn to the lack of wealth sharing that NCAA players have and the possibility of college athletes being paid?

SA: I personally don’t care if we get paid or not because I’m already getting a free education. I think the money that we bring in and that other major sports bring in for the university is great. Of course, I wouldn’t mind a few extra bucks here and there, but like I said, I get a free education out of it and am well taken care of.


HC: Besides athletics, what is your favorite aspect of the University of Michigan?

SA: I really like the campus. It’s so nice here because it’s got a homey feeling. The downtown area is really cool, and I like how it has the State Street and the South U area that really feels like a college town, but it also has Main Street which has a more local feel. It’s got malls and there is always stuff to do- Ann Arbor is not just the University of Michigan.


HC: What other schools were you looking at besides Michigan?

SA: I didn’t really have much interest outside of Michigan. I was looking at a few Ivy League schools and schools like Davidson and Appalachian State, but that’s really it. Michigan was my only major offer, and I jumped right on it obviously.  


HC: Can you tell us who your “Woman Crush Wednesday” is this week? Does your heart still belong to Kate Upton?

SA: [laughs] Kate’s over with. I’m a big fan of the blondes. I’d probably have to go with Sam Ponder.

Even though this writer is a brunette, I have no hard feelings towards Spike. I have high hopes for what he and the rest of the team have in store for all of us fans this season! GO BLUE!


Photo via maizeandgoblue.com 

Rebecca Lawson is the Managing Editor (former Editor in Chief) of Her Campus at the University of Michigan. She is a senior in the University of Michigan School of Information's new Bachelor of Science in Information program, and is also pursuing Michigan's Program in Entrepreneurship certificate. After graduation, she will be working as an Associate Consultant for Microsoft in the Seattle area. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @abovethelawson! And be sure to follow our chapter's Twitter and Instagram @hercampusumich!