Basketball star balances classes, playing

Coming off of a 4-21 season last year, junior forward Chris Dirks, along with the rest of the Linfield basketball team, expects a much stronger season is in store for them.

With Linfield’s top-scorers from last year graduating, someone has to step up and take on the role of the new team leader.

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Junior Chris Dirks waits for his turn to shoot during basketball practice for the upcoming games. The team practices every day in the gym to prepare for the games.
Spencer Beck/Staff Photographer

Dirks believes that the team has “a lot of new talent” and will be very competitive this season, adding that he is “excited about our potential.”

Dirks played in 13 games last season and played an average of 12 minutes in each of them. He averaged 2.6 points per game, but really contributed with his rebounding skills, pulling in 39 rebounds and averaging three per game.

Dirks is motivated to be the best team player he can, saying that he doesn’t care whether he starts or gets his minutes off the bench, either way he believes that “Coach Rosenberg will put us in the best position to win this season.”

His personal goals are to just simply do whatever he can to make the team better and help his team reach a .500 record.

Dirks’ team goals aren’t any different.

“I think a realistic goal for the team this year is to put ourselves in a position to be playing for a conference playoff spot at the end of the season,” Dirk said.

Basketball has always been Dirks’ passion, and he feels extremely privileged to be able to play after high school, but the NBA isn’t where he sees himself ending up.

Dirks’ plans for the future include being a math teacher and coaching basketball, with an alternative option of going to play ball in Australia with his old teammate Zach Anderson, a 2012 Linfield graduate.  Anderson played as a forward for the Wildcat’s basketball team his senior year at Linfield.

One of the things that is difficult with playing a sport in college is figuring out how to manage your studying, as well as practicing your sport.

Dirks can relate to balance being a struggle while playing a sport, but says that when he is in season, he finds it much easier to manage his time.

Having a lot of free time can sometimes be harder to handle than not having any free time at all.

Dirks and the Wildcats play their first official game at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 in the Ted Wilson Gymnasium for the Bon Appetit Classic against the State University of New York-Old Westbury.

Drew Mahrt/Senior sports reporter

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