I first met Willy in the fall of 2003. It was going into my junior year, Willy was an incoming freshman. He ended up red-shirting that year, but got to know him right away, and spending a year with Willy, practicing and then competing for a year, I think the thing that kind of sticks with me the most about Willy is his confidence. It’s a little juxtaposition because he isn’t exactly the largest guy, but when he’d walk on the court he really carried himself, you know, like far and away he was the biggest favorite out there. As a college athlete or
an athlete at any level, you need to have complete belief in your abilities and what you’re going to accomplish out there, and with Willy I don’t feel
that that ever wavered. This innate belief that he was gonna find a way to win. You know, the numbers
speak for themselves. He did some amazing things while at UNK, but his accomplishments
and how he carried himself kind of filtered through the program, and I think it brought the program to this national level where his freshman year we win conference for the second year in a row. We win our region in the NCAA’s and we’re playing in the Sweet 16’s. So to take a program that
only two years earlier was towards the bottom of the conference, to be one in the top 16 in the country, is an amazing feat. And then he carried on that type of success throughout his career. You know pieces of this experience I think have stayed with all of us as teammates. You know I remember a lot of things that I learned from Willy as a player, and he’s continued to
be an incredible friend to this day, so I’d like to thank him for that.