By: Gabe Taylor, '12
With Senior Night just over 24 hours away, four-year walk-on Phillip Bach is attempting to dodge the onslaught of nostalgic thoughts as a member of the men's basketball team. The men host Pepperdine on Thurs., Feb. 23 at 7 pm in the Broncos final home game.
But whether it is providing a spark off the bench against Loyola Marymount in his sophomore year, or the times spent with teammates in the locker room and away from the gym, the positive memories won't settle in the back of his mind.
It's a career that also saw him dunking in Madison Square Garden last spring. Yes, that Madision Square Garden. The Broncos practiced at MSG prior to winning the CIT while in New York City last March; and while there, many of the Broncos, including Bach, dunked the ball on the Knicks home court.
"I'm trying not to be nostalgic at this point, which is tough," said Bach. "But I couldn't ask for anything more."
Senior Night will mark his final home game as a Bronco. It will be the culmination of his four years of dedication and hard work, as being a walk-on for an entire college career is a difficult accomplishment.
"It's taught me the undeniable kind of work ethic you need, not only in athletics, but also in life after college, and that's been a very significant part to my four years here at Santa Clara," said Bach.
"I'm forever grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me," said Bach, who will step onto court tomorrow night in front of family, friends, and coaches that have supported him throughout his lifetime.
Bach has experienced the ups and downs, the good times and the bad. After Santa Clara claimed the CIT Championship last year, the 2011-12 season has yet to pan out to the team's expectations. While the team is tight-knit off the court, the chemistry has not yet translated to the court.
"We've yet been able to put those two together and hold each other accountable," said Bach.
In the coming months, Bach will switch gears from basketball to finding a job in the business world. Landing a positing in marketing or sales is on his wish list.
"I have a very extroverted type of personality," said Bach.
But he will not rule out playing basketball again. Bach's Dutch citizenship enables him to tryout for team's oversees in Europe. These decisions remain down the road, as there is still Bronco basketball to be played.
In the end, it's about soaking in the joy-filled memories. It's about having fun in his final night at the Leavey Center, suiting up in his white and red Bronco jersey with the large bold number 33 laced across the back.
"I want to enjoy playing with my teammates one last time in front of my friends and family," said Bach.
These are the college days that Bach will never want to forget.