As the West Coast Conference season opens Saturday (Dec. 28) with a matchup against San Diego, junior guard Allen Stevens discusses his experience as a Wave, his goals heading into the conference season and how he spent his Christmas holiday.
Q: You began as a freshman student manager for the Waves in 2011 before making the team as a walk-on last year. Overall, how has your experience been thus far?
A: My experience going from team manager to a player was definitely a change for the better. Since joining the team I have learned a lot about basketball, as well as myself. Being on the team has taught me important life lessons, such as decision-making and time management, and has also allowed me to grow closer to both my teammates and coaches. I used to see my role on the team as a job. Now being a player, it is my privilege and obligation to be the best teammate possible and I would not trade this experience for anything.
Q: How would you describe the team's chemistry this season?
A: This year's team chemistry is by far the best I have experienced at Pepperdine. There are no cliques at all and as a whole we all get along really well. The mutual respect we all have for one another is not just on the court, but also carries over when we are not playing. We all have each other's backs, and genuinely want to see everyone succeed. As teammates, and as friends, we are all very unselfish toward one another and that really contributes to our team dynamic.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about the West Coast Conference season?
A: I'm looking forward to the team's new start. The conference season is all about learning from the non-conference games, determining our strengths and weaknesses, and applying the lessons we learned that hopefully will allow us to win more conference games. I am really excited not only to see how well we perform, but also observe how we have grown as a team since the beginning of the season.
Q: What are some of the team's goals heading into tomorrow's game against San Diego?
A: Staying aggressive offensively and making sure that we can contain their guards on defense.
Q: What are some of your personal goals for the season?
A: I just want to make the team as successful as possible, whether that's on the court or off of the court. I always give everything my all, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to better the team. I want to make myself as useful to the team as possible.
Q: How did you spend your Christmas holiday?
A: I went to my aunt's house in Corona for three days. Since my teammate Marley is from Australia, he came and spent time with my family for both the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. It brings my aunt a lot of joy having guests over so Marley choosing to spend both holidays with my family was really exciting for them. I enjoyed the quality time with my family and having the opportunity to hang out with everyone before heading back to campus.