With our conference tournament underway and a little inspiration from Clif Carroll’s recent post entitled, “Chili on the Frio River”, I want to take this opportunity to post a few words on someone dear to me and, undoubtedly, one of our unsung heroes here at the University of Hartford. His name is Alex Sachetti. Although, depending on the day of the week, his attire, or smooth string of keen insights about the mere mortals in which he shares his world – we know him simply as, Chet, Chet-Money, and Chet’er.
Chet acts as student manager for our basketball program. He has done so the last three seasons. He arrived on campus from Salem, MA and quickly became an invaluable member of our basketball family. Whether it is the celebrated poise at which he executes typical duties associated with most support staff, his tightly knitted facial fur that would make Zach Galifianakis very proud or, his illustrious smirk that screams, “Coach…chill, everything is going to work out,” Chet-Money is one-of-a kind, worth a million bucks in our book and will be greatly missed upon graduation. You won’t find Chet’er hanging from the rafters (at least not that I’m aware of…) screaming grunts of aggression that sports entails but his quiet confidence, passion for the game, and sense of humor will be big shoes to fill…to say the least. In the midst of a rebuilding situation, his caring and consistent approach has been nothing short of awesome. With this, I pulled him aside the other day to ask a few questions about how he ended up a Hawk and perspective gained over the course of his time with our program. It would be silly to try and regurgitate, in a blog entry, everything Alex has done for our basketball culture; however, I am hopeful the short interview below will do some justice to his convictions about being involved:
How did you end up at the University of Hartford?
Growing up in Salem, MA there was a passion for basketball and I played. There were certain points during 7th and 8th grade where I was considered one of the better youth players in my area. During this time, I enjoyed getting better and developed a passion for the game. I loved it! Hartford was the only D1 School I applied to. I got in but once I realized my skills weren’t of the level – I decided to stay involved behind the scenes.
What does it mean to you to be a part of a D1 squad?
Being a student manager, it gives me an opportunity to be around the game I love while also producing for a D1 program in ways other than playing. I consider these guys teammates and it’s great that I get the same opportunity they do to rally around a common interest. One of the coolest things I’ve been able to experience – is how much goes into running a D1 program?
What is something most people might not realize about D1?
Probably the biggest area of being a D1 athlete that I’ve come to fully appreciate is the idea that these guys have lives outside of the game. The average spectator often forgets that when a player seems “out of it” in a particular game…there may be reasons for it beyond basketball. For example, family issues, an upcoming test, so on and so forth. In addition, I’ve come to appreciate the background operations. There’s a ton of work that goes into planning trips and meals, scheduling things around class time. However, D1 players have no room to complain...at least here at Hartford, they’re treated really well.
From your perspective, what are some of the greatest things a Student-Athlete learns while competing in college?
You learn to deal with difficulty (when things and playing time don’t go your way). You learn to deal with working hard with mixed results and no guaranteed future successes. You learn how to communicate with others whether it is with a head coach about your role with the group, an assistant about ways to improve and, most importantly, your teammates about how to achieve the team’s goals.
What advice would you give any upcoming student manager or an individual interested in getting involved with a college program?
Once you decide to be a part of this, be ready to work. Don’t be above any task. Don’t be afraid to ask all kinds of question and use every opportunity to network within the game.
What was your funniest memory as a student manager at Hartford?
It was against Yale last season. I was running crazy to get to the bus and accidently picked up two different color dress shoes (brown and black) for the game. I didn’t realize this until about 45 minutes before the game and had no choice but to wear them.
You Da’man Chet. Thank you for everything…all your time, energy and good times! We wish you nothing but the best. Go Hawks.
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