Udenyi will enter his fifth year as a Wave after receiving a medical redshirt
last season. He talks to us about what his recovery process was like and his
goals for his final season:
Q: You have plans to come back for a fifth year. What influenced you to make that decision?
A: I think the biggest influence on my decision was that I didn't want to look back 10 years from now and say I quit on myself. And I also didn't want to end my college career with an injury.
Q: It will be your final year as a Wave. What does that mean to you? How has this program and the game of basketball itself affected you as a person?
A: My final year as a Wave definitely means I'm old! But I've cherished every moment of being at Pepperdine. This program has made me a better man and has given me the platform to be very successful in life after basketball.
Q: How are the team dynamics this year? Have you met any of the incoming freshmen?
A: The team dynamic is great this year but I feel like every team I've been on at Pepperdine has had great chemistry and the coaches do a great job at making sure we are a family, not just a basketball team. And yes, I met all the freshman this past month, and I can't wait to get the season started with them.
Q: Over the past four years, what have you learned by being a part of this team that you will apply to your final season?
A: The number one thing that I've learned over my past four seasons would be to give it your absolute all at every practice and game because you never know when it will end. I was blessed to receive a fifth year but if my career would've ended last year with that injury, I would've been devastated because I knew I had so much more to give to my team.
Q: Who or what inspires you to compete?
A: My mom inspires me to compete every day! She works so hard for my brothers and I and shows unconditional love. At the very least I know I can compete for her every time I step on the court.
Q: What was your initial reaction when you ruptured your Achilles tendon for the second time?
A: My initial reaction was I couldn't believe it happened again. But later that day I asked the trainer when was the earliest day I could get surgery and start rehab because I knew I wasn't going to let this injury end my college career.
Q: What was the rehabilitation process like?
A: Since it was my second time doing the rehab process it went smoothly.
Q: Was it mentally difficult to stay positive about recovering from such an incident?
A: It wasn't mentally difficult at all because I have strong faith and belief in God's plan and this is just part of it.
Q: At what level do you expect to play this season?
A: I expect to play at the highest level. I won't use this injury as an excuse at all.
Q: What is your schedule/plan like for the summer both on and off the court?
A: This summer my plan is to get in the best shape possible and be ready for my last season at Pepperdine. Off the court I intend to learn more about the game of basketball because I plan to coach my own team one day.
Q: How is training in the summer different than in season?
A: Summer training is extremely different compared to in season because during the season there are so many games that sometimes it gets hard to work on your game. To get better you have to stay in the training room just to keep your body healthy enough to get through the season. The summer is when you can work on all your weaknesses and get your body in shape to prepare for a great season.
Q: What kind of things are you working on with your weight training coach and your head coach?
A: With Coach Young I'm working on strengthening my lower body and just becoming more explosive overall. Because I am a fifth year, I am working with Coach Wilson to learn to be an overall leader. I know everyone on the team will follow my lead, especially the freshmen, so I have to make sure I am a great example for the rest of the team on and off the court.
Q: What are your goals coming into your final season?
A: Because it is my last season at Pepperdine, my number one goal is to win the WCC and make the tournament. All the other individual accolades will come for everyone on the team if we take care of the two major team goals.