Morris and Norman Massry

Photo: Paul Miller

The Last Word

By Peter Hooley, B.A.’15

Five years ago I made the decision to come across the other side of the world and try my luck at college basketball in America. I guess the normal trend is to come and play at a high level, get an education and then be on your way. But I never saw it like that. A program and a community took me in as one of their own and showed me an experience that I still cannot fathom. And for that, I say thank you to …

… all the fans of the program who have ridden every high and every low with me and our teams for the past five years.  

… the University for showing me how to not only get a great education and be surrounded by some incredible people, but for showing me that school goes 
much further than simply sitting in a classroom. 

... all my coaches. You helped a small-town kid from Australia achieve more success than I could have ever dreamed of: three championships in succession, along with many other incredible memories. You helped me grow and shine, and for that I thank you.

... Coach Brown, for not only helping me to reach my full potential as a basketball player, but for also being something much more to me as a person. For the way you watched over me and guided me in all my ways of life, I can never thank you enough. Whenever I struggled or fell, you helped me stand again. We have been through a lot together, but the one thing that I will forever remember is how you have helped me become the man I am today.  

… all my teammates. You are my brothers. Through all the highs and lows, you showed me the true value of a team, but even more, you showed me the true value of family. I love you all.  

I feel deeply privileged to have been a part of such a great school, program and community. I leave this place a better basketballer, a better student, but perhaps most important, a better person. And ultimately, that’s all I could have ever asked for. 

I don’t know what God has in store for me, but what I know for sure is that I will forever be a Great Dane and I will forever have a special home right here!

From the bottom of my heart,

Thank you, UAlbany. 

Peter Hooley earned a degree in journalism and psychology last year and will complete his master’s studies in communication in May. His plans include returning home to Australia; he hopes  to play professional basketball there or in Europe.  

To read Hooley’s entire post, please visit his blog here.