It’s time to shake things up a bit here on Streaking the Lawn—I’m excited to welcome the newest writer to our little family here, Zach Carey!
Zach’s an incoming first year at UVA...Class of 2025 if you can believe that. As Ryan pointed out to me, we were literally in college when he was born. So...there’s that.
If you’re on Twitter, you’ve probably seen him around tweeting incessantly (said as a positive thing) about Virginia basketball over at @Zach_Carey_. Go ahead, give him a follow.
What can you expect from him? Anything and everything. Basketball recruiting? He’s got you. Hoos in the Pros? He’s got you. Top ten all-time boy bands? He’s got you, even if he doesn’t know yet at the time of this publication that this will be assigned to him as offseason content.
To get to know our newest writer—an Eagles fan, by the way—read his own words below!
Tell us about the start of your UVA fanhood.
Well, I’ve been a UVA fan since I can remember. My mom is from Charlottesville and went to UVA, as did my uncle, and my grandfather worked at UVA for over 40 years so the orange and blue is in my blood. While I’ve moved around a lot over my 18 years, I lived in Charlottesville for five years back in elementary school and really fell in love with UVA sports back then.
What’s your favorite UVA sports memory?
I’ve been pretty lucky with the success of the athletic department of the last decade or so since I really started paying attention. I’d say witnessing both of the 2011 and 2019 men’s lacrosse National Championships in person with my dad was pretty special.
But, that 2014 run for the basketball team was unreal relative to what I’d come to expect of the program. I was actually friends with Tony Bennett’s son Eli back then and was at the Bennett house when Joe Harris drove his pickup over there on New Years’ Day. Then, a few months later somebody my dad worked with at the time gave us his tickets to the Syracuse game where the ‘Hoos clinched the ACC Regular Season Title and cut down the nets. That entire season was special and that game is still the most significant Virginia basketball win I’ve seen in person.
On the other hand, what is your worst UVA sports memory?
Easy. 2016, Elite Eight, Syracuse. I distinctly remember that night. It was pouring rain in Charlottesville and I swear I sat outside on my grandparents’ front porch for half an hour and just cried. Talk about heartbreak.
To be that close to a Final Four with such a special group hurts to this day. UMBC was UMBC but to be frank that 2018 team wasn’t going too much further without De’Andre Hunter. That 2016 squad though? It’d already beaten the two teams that made it to the National Championship. And man oh man what a great group of guys. That wound won’t ever heal.
Do you know what you’re going to major at UVA yet?
Not really, no. I’d been thinking about a Media Studies major for a while but with the time I’ll be dedicating to media outside of school I’m not sure if that’s the best decision. I’ll probably look into history, philosophy, english, or maybe even political science just to see what suits my fancy. Then, while I adore basketball analytics, I’ll be staying as far away from the classes that deal with math and numbers as possible.
What’s the hottest take you’ve heard from UVA fans?
I mean, it’s hard to narrow it down to one. I guess most recently it’d be with regard to Trey Murphy’s NBA Draft prospects this year. I’m sure I’ll dive deeper into this at some point, but that young man is going to be a top-45 pick and I would not be surprised whatsoever if he were to sneak into the late first round.
I think college fans sometimes misconstrue what it takes for a guy to leave for the NBA early — at least fanbases who aren’t bringing in the one-and-done’s do. Being a top-45 pick is about as much of a guarantee of a contract as being a top-30 pick is. Sure the money in the early second round isn’t as high as it is for lottery picks. But if the interest is there, striking while the iron is hot is essential.
I also think Murphy leaving now actually helps the program in a major way moving forward, but I’ll tackle that in depth at a later date.
Favorite UVA athlete of all time?
Steele Stanwick. In my eyes, he was Malcolm Brogdon before Malcolm Brogdon was Malcolm Brogdon, just in a different, less popular sport. I was a UVA lacrosse fan before I was a fan of anything else and that 2011 National Championship run was unbelievable in its own way. Stanwick was incredibly clutch that year and was just an all around good dude. Whether it was running clinics in Charlottesville after graduating or signing autographs in the corner of Klöckner for the eight year old fanboy after a rainy Tuesday night blowout, he was always incredibly gracious and generous with his time and made rooting for him and that team an absolute treat.