Roy Bullock, senior exercise science major, came gliding up to the patio on his skateboard with that wind-swept look that made him look more like he belonged on the low-key, sunny beaches of Miami than the patio of the stately Logos.
In less than three weeks, Bullock will put on his cap and gown in preparation of being the only graduating basketball player to have spent all four years of his undergraduate education playing at Union.
Bullock was recruited while he was still attending high school in St. Louis.
“The coach paid me a personal visit to my house,” he said. “My whole family really liked him.”
Unwaveringly positive, Bullock looks back on his four years at Union with pride and appreciation.
However, even for someone as laid back as Bullock, being a Union Bulldog for four years is not without its challenges.
“I always thought playing college basketball would be hard,” Bullock said. “But it’s been a lot harder than I thought. It takes a lot. Not even just the physical toll, but balancing school and basketball, it’s a huge time commitment.”
The Union Bulldogs practice three hours every day in addition to morning workouts and traveling for games. Bullock said it’s been an honor to witness the team’s growth and resilience since he joined in 2012.
“Over these four years I’ve gotten to watch the team improve so much,” Bullock said. “We brought in so many great people. I mean, we were good when I came in, we had good players, but not the caliber we have now.”
David Niven, head coach, attributes a great part of the team’s recent growth to Bullock’s consistency on the court.
“Roy has been one of the most consistent players I have coached,” Niven said. “He never gets too high or too low and has always played his best in our biggest games. His junior and senior years he was a huge part of our success in playing in back to back NCAA tournaments and winning 41 games.”
For Bullock, the most rewarding part of being a Union Bulldog has been the relationships he has forged with teammates.
“Being on the same team with someone, spending so much time with them, you really get to know each other,” Bullock said. “I love my teammates. They will be my lifelong friends whether they want to or not.”
This sentiment is echoed by Bullock’s teammates for whom Bullock has been an excellent example of sportsmanship and consistency.
“Roy is a teammate that everyone dreams of playing with,” Zach Phillips, junior business management major, said. “An unselfish person, on and off the court, makes him a joy to play with and be around.”
Bullock would advise incoming players to stay in the moment.
“In the middle of things, it will suck,” he said. “You’ll be working so hard every day and it will take up so much time. But when it’s over you will look back and wonder where it all went.”