Matthew Atewe is a graduate transfer on the
men's basketball team. He talks about how his experiences playing Division I
basketball have helped him take on the role of a leader at Pepperdine:
Q: What brought you to Pepperdine?
A: I think Pepperdine was just the best fit for me. I was able to trust the coaches and the coaching staff and I really liked the players. Apart from basketball, just having the opportunity to get a degree in one year from a school like Pepperdine was a pretty big deal for me.
Q: How has Pepperdine been different from Washington? How have you been liking it?
A: The one major difference that I've felt has been the weather. In Malibu, it's sunny every day and that's really nice. This summer, I was here for the majority of August just with the coaching staff and they put a very big emphasis on player development. The whole summer I was able to get in the gym with some of the coaching staff and other guys on the team and develop a camaraderie so we could get better as a team. I think just being around the basketball team has been amazing and I've really loved it.
Q: You have had previous experience playing college ball. How do you feel that experience has been helping you here at Pepperdine?
A: Having been in college for four years, I know how hard you need to practice. I think I can relate to the younger guys and others who are coming in who may not know how it works yet. Just having that experience allows me to be kind of like a leader in that way and help those who are struggling or aren't getting it. For the ones who are, I can just give them advice on things I did and didn't do to help them do better.
Q: How are you feeling about the team and the players this season?
A: I believe as a team we can win a lot this season. I love the excitement we have within the team and the enthusiasm as a whole. Just being successful and making it to postseason is a very big goal of ours and that's what were focused on. Just being able to win and win a lot at a high level.
Q: How has training been so far?
A: Practice has been great. It's been very competitive, which is something you always want. Also, it's been really lively and the guys who just came in have all been super enthusiastic so I've really been loving it so far.
Q: Being one of the older guys, you found yourself to be in a kind of leadership role. How has that been?
A: I think this ties in with the experience aspect but, again, having gone through a lot already has just helped me know what I can do to help the guys who are going through similar things now, including injuries and stuff like that. So basically just showing the guys coming in how to work and how to be a good basketball player and how to be deal with being a college athlete.
Q: Describe your game.
A: I'm able to rebound, score in the post and also just be an anchor defensively. Also being able to block shots and just being all over the place defensively.
Q: Are you excited about your first game?
A: As a team, we're all super excited. Our first game is November 10th against Oklahoma State. All summer and fall we've just been playing against each other so we're definitely ready to go against a different group and hopefully get our first win of the season.