Ask a Wag Featured Posts On campus Ugo Nwaigwe

One thousand ninety five days and counting…

Hi guys!

I committed to Wagner in November of my senior year of high school. It was a great feeling because I was done with the whole college process, while all my friends and classmates were panicking about where they were going to attend college next fall. I felt bad, but I also did not. I just happened to be good at something that offers full scholarships. Basketball is my best talent...and I have used it to my advantage my entire life. After my senior year of high school, I learned all that glitters isn't gold!  Yeah, I got a full ride to play basketball for Wagner--but there's a lot of commitment, time, and responsibility that came with that scholarship.

IMG_2532A week after my high school graduation, I moved into Harborview, the freshmen dorm building. It was actually July 4th. Yup, I moved into college on a national holiday. While all my friends were having graduation parties, cookouts and barbecues, going to the beach, etc, I was arranging my dorm room. That day was definitely unforgettable. At that moment, I realized all the things I would have to give up for the next four years. It was tough. I felt like I was going to miss out on a lot of stuff regular college students did.   While people were sleeping, I was waking up at 5 am for three-hour practices. After morning workouts, my freshman teammates and I would rush to our classes. I am not even going to lie to you...it was so hard staying awake that summer. Sitting in class, we would nudge each other all the time to make sure we wouldn't fall asleep. As freshmen, we were terrified of our head coach. We were afraid that she would walk past our classroom to make sure we weren't sleeping, and to make sure we were sitting in the front.

As hard as that summer was, I wouldn't trade it for the world. The girls I came in with that year are my sisters. Though we are all on different paths right now, those are my girls. No one else would understand what our freshman year consisted of besides us--how muIMG_5703ch we struggled, our ups, our downs, the good times and the bad. We were all we had and we helped each other get through that year. One thousand and fifty nine days later, I still talk to those girls every day. One thousand and fifty nine days is a lot of time, but it went by so fast. In a blink of an eye, I went from a scrawny freshman to a strong and toned senior. One day I was always at the end of the pack---running wise, lifting wise, comprehending college basketball wise---and today, I'm a captain watching my own freshmen struggle the way I had. I understand their struggles. It's hard to get mad at them because I was there once. My upperclassmen never gave up on me, so I would never give up on them.

I'm glad I came to Wagner. The support system here throughout my collegiate experience is extraordinary. The days I wanted to give up, I had a member of the Wagner family picking me up and lifting my spirits. Wagner is THE place to find lifelong friends. To this day, the people I met my freshman year are my closest friends. The great thing about it is that my closest friends aren't all on my basketball team. I have friends on other sports teams and not on sports teams. It's the best of both worlds. It's a great feeling to look up into the bleachers and see all my friends--all from various aspects of Wagner--cheer me on!

Ugo 🙂