Jeremy Major is a
senior on the men's basketball team and is on track to set the school record
for assists - a record that has stood for more than 30 years. He attributes his
success all to being part of such a great team, and reflects on this, as well
as what he's been working on recently:
Q: What did you do this
A: I interned for State
Farm. I was connected with that through Carmel Stevens who played basketball
here a long time ago. I was there for two months and what was really exciting
was being part of a project aimed at marketing to college students. I loved
getting the chance to do that because it's something I want to do ultimately --
I'm an advertising major -- but I also got to think about how to appeal to my
own demographic so it was a really cool opportunity.
Q: How about
basketball-wise, what did you do this summer?
A: I worked out like crazy
preparing for the season! I was here for two months over the summer playing and
then I also went back and forth between L.A. and Pasadena, my hometown, working
with a trainer to stay consistent with it. So yeah, I was definitely working
really hard this summer.
Q: So you're on track
to set the school record for assists, which is a record that has stood for more
than 30 years. How does it feel to be in that position of setting this school
record, which is a big deal?
A: To be honest, when I first started here my
freshman year I never thought to myself I'd be breaking any records. So being
in this position now is something that is definitely really big for me and
really special. But on the other hand, I couldn't have been getting those
assists unless we had great scorers on the team, so I think most of it is all
them, you know? I'm all about being giving and just focusing on the team effort,
so it's all about needing all of them to get the baskets -- it's more about
them than me if anything. Without them I wouldn't be in the position to get
this record, so I think that's what's really great about it. It's not just me,
it's the whole team.
Q: Is this something
that you think will influence the way you play this season? Is it weighing on
you at all?
A: I don't think so, I've
always been about putting others before myself since day one, and so going on
the court I'm all about supporting the team and whatever helps them to do well
helps me. It's just naturally how I've always played and so it's how I'll keep
Q: How is it now being
a senior on the basketball team? Does it change the dynamic at all?
A: Oh, it's definitely a
different role. Freshman year I came in and guys like Brendan Lane, Stacy Davis
and Jett Raines put some of us who are now seniors through the ropes and now
we're sitting here with all of these new freshmen so I feel like the roles are
kind of reversed for me now. It's definitely both a vocal role and leading by
example. I think being a senior we have a different perspective for the game so
it's all about using that to help these guys out and get them through.
Q: How it is having to
be a leader on the team especially with a lot of new young players this year?
A: It's actually a lot of
fun, and it's easier to be in this role when we have group of guys who are
actually listening, responding and applying what they're being told. They're a
group of great guys and they are really ready to learn and very eager, but also
really smart. They definitely put the work in so it's just been fun. We spend
so much time together not only on the court but also off the court so there's
just a great bond there too.
Q: How are they fitting
in? Has it been challenging?
A: They're fitting in
really well. It just works out because they've done such a great job just
coming into the system. A lot is demanded from them right off the bat, but as
seniors we're able to help them get through that process. It's not really all
that challenging trying to be a leader for them but I'm sure it's challenging
for them to learn the speed of the game and having to react more quickly in the
game than what they were used to in high school. But we're truly a family here
and probably spend like four to six hours every day together so the chemistry
is always there on the court, and at the end of the day we're helping each
other get better.
Q: What has been one of
your favorite games or moments now looking back so far on your time playing
basketball for Pepperdine?
A: One of my favorite games,
even though we lost, was when we played Gonzaga my sophomore year. They were a
highly ranked team at the time, and it was the most crowded I've ever seen
Firestone Fieldhouse! For us to be right there and so close to beating them --
we lost by 2 -- which we hadn't done in a long time -- to be that close, and
have a huge crowd cheering us on, it was just an amazing moment. Seeing the
different atmosphere and culture of Pepperdine and people wanting to come out
to the games and support us, it was great because everyone really came together
- not just the team but the Pepperdine community as well. That was just such a
other favorite moment would be when we won at BYU my sophomore year. We were in
front of 16,000 students just going crazy and that place is crazy in general to
play in because the atmosphere is just so fun with the bright lights and the
personality of the crowd. It definitely gets you more hyped up for the moment
and it was just such a fun, crazy atmosphere so it's definitely something that
stands out in my memory.
Q: Do you think being
part of the team all this time now has shaped or changed you in any way?
A: It's definitely shaped
me, without a doubt. Looking back and reflecting, when I came in, Coach Wilson
put me in a role as the starting point guard and I always felt like I was going
out there not knowing what was going on and just hoping for the best. But now,
going into senior year, knowing what pretty much to expect, what's expected of
me, having a plan, being prepared and all that, I definitely think I've learned
and grown a lot. I just see the game now from a totally different perspective
but at the same time I'm just able to enjoy every game. Being in class and the
busyness of college, it can definitely be a toll and can sometimes be hard to
keep the passion alive when you have all this weighing on you. But when you get
to senior year you just sit back and reflect and realize what a great time it
has been, and you just have to soak it all in one last time and give it your
all. I think also just the group of guys I've been around and the family we've
become, it's definitely also shaped me in a way and my experience here, so I'm
just really thankful and it's been great!
Q: What are you
focusing on this season?
A: For the team, I just
really want to get us to 20 wins, also make the NCAA Tournament, and truth be
told I just really want to beat Gonzaga. We've beaten every other team besides
them, and we've been so close. We've been close twice -- under three points! So
yeah, those are my three goals for us this season.