"Off The Court" With Scott Christopherson - Golden Eagle Profile
Nov. 9, 2007
by Megan Miller - MU Media Relations
Scott Christopherson may be a freshman at Marquette, but he has been a Golden Eagle for three years. He made his commitment before his sophomore year of high school and never looked back.
MU first appeared on the radar for Christopherson during the Golden Eagles' Final Four run in 2003, but he didn't realize it was the best choice for him until his recruiting process began.
"When Marquette went to the Final Four, I didn't know a lot about them, but as I got older and went to visit, I realized Marquette was the place for me to be," Christopherson said.
Marquette was the basketball program that offered Christopherson exactly what he was looking for: a chance to let him work on his strengths and improve on his weaknesses. Christopherson said that when talking with head coach Tom Crean he realized that this was a school where he could accomplish his goals, so it seemed like a natural choice.
"Growing up I didn't really know where I wanted to go to school, but coming to Marquette and meeting coach Crean and the rest of the staff, I immediately started to like it more and I got to know them better," Christoperson said. "I ended up wanting to come here mainly because of Coach, but the move to the BIG EAST conference was also a factor."
Based on his accomplishments on the court, Christopherson has the ability to make a smooth transition into playing BIG EAST basketball. After his sophomore year he transferred to La Crosse Aquinas in order to play with and against a higher level of competition. The move paid of for Christopherson as he helped Aquinas to a 26-1 record and a spot in the Wisconsin State Championship game his senior year. The 6-3 guard also earned the prestigious title of 2007 Mr. Basketball for the state of Wisconsin, an honor given by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association.
"I enjoyed my last few years of high school basketball more than I did my first two because we were playing against better teams and the competition was at a much higher level than where I was at," Christopherson said. "It made for a better atmosphere."
At Aquinas, Christopherson achieved one of his goals to play in the state tournament. Though his team didn't hoist a trophy, he has lasting memories from the experience.
"The game that we won to go to the state tournament was probably the biggest game for me. I always dreamed of playing in the state tournament and we choked my junior year, so it was my senior year and the last chance," Christopherson said. "When our team finally made it and all of the hard work we put in when nobody was watching paid off. Getting to that point was really special for me."
Christopherson joins teammate Wesley Matthews as the only other "Mr. Basketball" on the roster. Even though he is such an accomplished prep athlete, he knows that those accolades will not help him on the court playing with and against other talented athletes.
"I think the biggest challenge for me will be getting used to the speed and physicality of the game," Christopherson said. "When I played in high school I was always the strongest and the fastest. I could jump the highest and do everything, but now I come here and that's not the case anymore. I still use my ability to run and jump to my advantage, but I can't rely on that anymore because there are a lot of guys who can run and jump faster and higher than I can."
After a summer filled with strength and conditioning and basketball workouts Christopherson is ready for competition. Being a freshman is not going to stop him from having expectations for himself or his team. He has big goals that won't stop until Marquette raises a national championship banner.
"I want to keep getting better everyday and be able to bring something to this team that can help us win. This team can win and my expectation is to go out, win the BIG EAST, make it to the Final Four and hopefully, eventually win a national championship," Christopherson said.
Christopherson is excited to be part of a program that is rich in tradition and talent. He recognizes that coach Crean has helped players move forward and get them to where they want to be in their careers. He hopes to join past MU teams playing in the NCAA Tournament and hopefully win a championship for the Golden Eagles. Being surrounding by people who have that kind of experience is something new to Christopherson, but he is excited to embrace it.
"I don't know anybody, and growing up I never knew anybody who played in the NCAA Tournament or won. This is a whole new experience for me to be surrounded by people who have won and have big accomplishments. I am just really excited for the opportunity."
When selecting a college, Christopherson wasn't adamant on staying in his home state, but is certainly happy that the outcome keeps him close to where he grew up. Because Marquette is close to home he expects a cheering section of family and friends at many home games.
"My family and friends are very important to me. Having the chance to play in front of them and still being close to home is a big bonus," Christopherson said.
Basketball has always been a way of life for Christopherson. His dad played for Dick Bennett at Stevens Point for a few years and credits his dad as being his biggest basketball influence in his life.
"My dad was definitely the biggest basketball influence in my life thus far, Christopherson said. "He has been teaching me about the game ever since I was three or four. My coaches growing up were Richie Johnson and Vince Hamilton, who played in the NBA and CBA, and they were two other influences for me."
When he is not on the basketball court Christopherson says he likes to do "normal" things. He enjoys playing video games as does his roommate, fellow freshman Patrick Hazel. He tries to hang out with friends whenever he can and enjoys spending time with his family.
A hard work ethic has helped Christopherson make a smooth transition from the high school court to college level play. Players are quickly forced to get used to a faster pace and more intense practices because the coaches will not slow down for adjustments.
"Everything I was doing growing up was to get ready to play in college, but it wasn't like I played against any BIG EAST players. I'm really glad I made the move (to Aquinas). I just wanted to play against some better competition to prepare me for college and enjoy high school basketball more."
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