On Wednesday, Central Noble senior Connor Essegian made the announcement of his college decision. After recently narrowing his choices down to seven schools, Essegian announced from his home school that he will play in college at Wisconsin. We reached out to Connor to allow him to tell you why this was the place for him, in his own words.
This journey I have been on to get to where I am has been anything but easy with being looked at as an underdog going to a smaller school, playing for a small AAU program and people doubting my abilities.
Nights staying out late to get in the gym, then getting up early in the morning to go right back, my days weren’t filled with going to hangout with friends all the time or sitting back playing video games for hours a day. A lot of people don’t realize what had to be sacrificed to get to where I am today. But if they could’ve been in my shoes, they would’ve seen the little kid shooting on a little tikes hoop, watching Big Ten basketball on the TV and dreaming of playing on TV just like those guys.
And now this little kid’s dream is going to be a reality. Now that I am committed to play basketball at the University of Wisconsin, I can officially say I made that dream come true.
My decision to commit to the University of Wisconsin had many different factors most people don’t know about. A lot of what pulled me to make my decision were factors off the court. The main reason on “Why Wisconsin?” is that I just got that feeling everyone talks about. Everyone who has been a part of my recruiting process and even some coaches have told me when I get the feeling of “this is it,” to jump on it. When I went on my unofficial visit back at the beginning of August, I had a thought of ‘this place has a chance.’ Then when I came back for my official visit I knew it was right for me.
There were many other factors that built up to the “this is it” feeling.
Getting to know the entire coaching staff on a personal level on my official visit was extremely helpful. I was able to see who they truly are as people and what they are like relationship wise with their players and people around the program.
Not only was it the coaches, but the players played a big part in my decision as well. They made me feel like I was one of them. I was able to be myself and not change who I was just to fit in. Getting to see how things were off the court really pulled me in. Not only did the people there help me make my decision, but the entire basketball side as well. Watching film and seeing them play on TV and in a practice really showed me how I can fit in the system they run and how I can produce, not necessarily just scoring but doing other things to help.
The staff sees more in me than just a “shooter,” which a lot of people consider me to only be. They see me as a basketball player that does things other than score, such as rebounding for my size and position, making the extra pass and just working hard. The coaching staff seeing me as a complete player really helped draw me in to want to be a part of the program. The success that Wisconsin has had in the past and will continue to have helped me as well. Me being a competitor that hates losing and wants to play on the biggest stage, this is the place to do so.
The city of Madison and the college town just gives it the extra bonus along with everything else.
I am extremely blessed to have been given the opportunity to play at the highest level possible, and I am excited to take that challenge on. Now it is time to get to work and get ready for college, while making senior year the best year of high school yet. Madison I’ll be ready! 608 let’s rock!