The Union University basketball teams have spent countless hours in Fred Delay Gymnasium this season, but for eight seniors, Thursday night’s game might be the last time they play in that gym.
Thursday, Feb. 19, the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs take on University of North Alabama for their final home game of the 2014-2015 regular season.
There are eight seniors between the men’s and women’s basketball teams: three on the men’s team and five on the women’s team. Corieon Pearson, Eric Leisey and Pedro Faller will all move on from the men’s team, while the Lady Bulldogs will lose Amber Rechis, Amy Philamlee, DeAnna Thompson, Emily Sissom and Jaclissa Haislip after the season ends.
Many of these athletes have played key roles for their teams for much of their careers and the Union family has been an integral part of their college experience.
“This is my fourth year as a Bulldog,” said Faller, senior business administration in economics major and guard on the men’s team. “It’s been an honor to wear this uniform and to represent this wonderful school throughout the years. I am more than proud to say that I was a part of this program.”
Philamlee, senior exercise science major and guard on the women’s team, reflects more on her teammates and coaches as her career draws to an end.
“It is a bitter-sweet moment,” said Philamlee. “I’m so blessed to be able to play at Union. I’ve had incredible teammates, coaches and fans. I can’t imagine leaving but I am so thankful for all that I have experienced.”
Their basketball careers have done more than just provided them with an education in the classroom, as they have also learned valuable lessons on the court.
“One of the things is that everyone has their role,” said Leisey, senior business administration in management major and forward on the men’s team. “That’s how you become successful, everyone plays the role they’re given. That’s one of the biggest things I take away, and my freshman year I didn’t understand that.”
While Thursday’s senior night game will be emotional, neither team is treating it differently than any other game, according to Leisey.
“I’m excited, but I’m not thinking about it as much,” said Leisey. “I’m thinking more about what it means for the rest of the season. I’m excited for senior night, but this game is more than just senior night, this game is the rest of our season.”
The women’s game tips off at 6 p.m. with the men to follow at 8 p.m.