By Jason Klaiber, @J_Klaibs
As the St. Bonaventure Bonnies men’s basketball team prepares for its fast-approaching season, senior Chris Dees looks to uphold a leadership role on the squad.
“With now being a senior, hopefully I can ‘pick the young guys up,’ support my team anywhere I can, and rebound here and there,” said Dees.
This year, Dees seeks to be more effective on the offensive end than last year. This entails scoring more points and improving his skills in the post. More than that, he recognizes that there’s always room for improvement in every facet of his game, which is the reason behind his practice-filled stay on campus for the entirety of this past summer.
“Everything’s not as strong as it could be, so I still have a lot to work on,” said Dees.
Dees’s attachment to the game of basketball has a genetic undercurrent. His mother played basketball when she was in high school and introduced him to sports at a young age.
Growing up in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, Dees admired the likes of all-around players such as LeBron James and Rudy Gay, who can both expand their skill set beyond what their positions ask.
Prior to his arrival at St. Bonaventure in 2013, Dees played for two seasons at New Mexico Junior College, where he commanded his team in blocks and averaged 4.8 points as well as 5.1 rebounds per game.
Now entering his second season as a Bonnie, Dees has become quite acclimated with the environment here.
“I’ve been here a year, so I can pretty much call it a home for the most part,” he says.
This comfortable adjustment can be attributed to the close chemistry he and his teammates have instituted.
“We all hang out with each other,” said Dees. “Even off the court, we’re never apart even though we live in separate dorms. We’re always together.”
On the team, everyone throws in a unique contribution. Apart from serving as a physically imposing presence on the court, Dees simply hopes to motivate the team and act as an admirable teammate.
“I’m trying to contribute to the team as much as I possibly can,” said Dees.
While he anticipates quite the challenge in the face of opponents such as VCU, Dees expects his team to make a return to the Atlantic-10 tournament this year and possibly appear in the NCAA tournament.
In the wake of the first non-exhibition game against Dartmouth, Dees said that the team has to center on their strengths and weaknesses and “build on the same goal every day: to win.”