Nadkarni: Cats like us

Rohan Nadkarni

It’s been way too long since I’ve written a column. It’s been like Winter Quarter: gray, cold and lonely. Fortunately, I’m back in action just as the men’s basketball team hits its home stretch.

Although Northwestern has had an up-and-down season, the beauty of the Wildcats (and college athletics) is how the student-athletes represent their school. Is there a team more representative of the NU population than the men’s basketball team? Let’s take a look.

The Awkward, Goofy White Guy: John Shurna. Zach Braff. David Schwimmer. Are these three not completely interchangeable? Would you be surprised if the senior forward and junior forward Drew Crawford had a J.D./Turk relationship?

NU has been producing goofy, lovable white guys for three decades now. Shurna could easily be the Big Ten’s leading scorer or the funny kid in your theater class. And that makes him a great leader for the basketball team.

The Hipster: Alex Marcotullio. When Marcotullio isn’t making it rain from 3-point land, would you be surprised if he was practicing with his indie dance-pop band? Marcotullio’s confidence and perfectly messy hair ooze “hipster” when he’s on the court. The junior guard doesn’t play basketball because it’s cool – he does it because he can.

The Foreign Exchange Student: Luka Mirkovic. Luka has really lived the life of a foreign student at NU. At first, the senior center was loved for his uniqueness and innocence with respect to American culture. However, as time passed, people grew tired of having to explain everything to the senior center (speaking slowly, “catch the ball, Luka”) and stopped inviting him to parties (Luka rides the bench). Although the lovable Serbian will always have his fan club, the Belgrade native isn’t too popular anymore.

The “How Is He So Popular?” Freshman: Dave Sobolewski. You know when you first arrive on campus, and that one kid already has a large social group? That’s Dave Sobolewski. The kid came on the basketball scene and became one of the most efficient point guards in the Big Ten.

However, there is a downside to the HIHSP freshman, and it’s that I’m usually jealous of that guy. Seriously, if one more girl tells me how cute Sobo is…I’m probably not going to do anything. But I’ll be angry. I don’t care if one of my friends did a poli-sci project with Sobo and he was cool, I still don’t like the guy.

The Lounge Kid: Reggie Hearn. If you ever walk through your dorm’s floor and see that one kid who is always studying in the lounge, that’s Hearn. It could be 4 a.m. during the first week of the quarter, but Lounge Kid will be pounding Norbucks coffees and burying himself in homework. The junior guard arguably works the hardest on and off the court, fine-tuning his defense and rebounding.

And Hearn’s hard-working and studious personality has paid off, working himself into a scholarship player and consistent performer after joining the team as a walk-on.

So next time you find yourself complaining about another heartbreaking loss, remember how the student-athletes on the court are feeling. They’re more like you than you think.

Rohan Nadkarni is a Medill freshman. He can be reached at [email protected]