Story by Ashley Beall
Though their Drake men’s basketball days are over, senior Ben Simons and fifth-year senior Chris Hines have no plans to give up the game. The two sat down with The Times-Delphic to discuss Drake’s academic perks, the Jan. 23 upset over Missouri Valley Conference rival Creighton and their plans to play professionally abroad.
Times-Delphic: You’re getting closer to graduation. Looking back, what made you decide to come to Drake University? Are you glad you made that decision?
Ben Simons: I chose Drake because of basketball and the players here. But the school was great as well and Dean (Randall) Blum was a big reason why. I have loved it here and wouldn’t change it for the world.
TD: What are your plans for after graduation? Do you plan on staying in Des Moines?
BS: Hopefully play basketball professionally, I don’t really know where I would like playing. I guess just Western Europe and don’t really have many connections but do have an agent. If that doesn’t work out, I’m going to graduate in May with a degree in marketing and with that, I would hope to get a job in marketing. Those are really the two things I’m hoping (for). Basketball is number one but if not, I hope to do something with my degree.
TD: How has your time at Drake helped you prepare for the next chapter of your life?
BS: As far as basketball, playing in the Missouri Valley Conference against great teams, and that’s something that’s going to prepare for the most part. As far as school and other things, I’ve been at a top notch university in the business school, and I’ve got to do a lot of things through the media and through the teams that will help me in the next step of my life.
TD: What will you miss most about Drake?
BS: All the people I’ve met, I have a good feeling I won’t be in Des Moines next year, and it’s going to be sad to leave behind the teammates that are still here and the good friends that I’ve made as well as the professors that I’ve had good relationships with. It’s going to be different, but I’m excited for it.
TD: What’s your favorite memory from your time here at Drake?
BS: Probably this year beating Creighton. Creighton was ranked in the Top-25 and we beat them. Being my senior year, and beating them at home, and the fans rushing the court, it was a lot of fun.
TD: What’s your favorite memory you have from any class you’ve taken?
BS: My favorite memory from class would be my JMC 57 class where I made a shake weight commercial.
TD: Do you have any advice for the basketball team next year?
BS: I know these guys are going to work hard. I know that they are going to try to take Drake to the next level. Obviously, it’s a new coaching staff, and there’s going to be quite a few new players as well, and I know the players here are really excited about the new opportunity, and I hope they take full advantage of it.
Times-Delphic: What are your plans for next year?
Chris Hines: As of right now, I am trying to keep my body in shape just in case I plan to play overseas, but if not, then I am going to go into the athletics administration field and start working in that area.
TD: When and where would you want to play overseas?
CH: If I get the right opportunity and the right timing, then I think I will play next year but if not, then I’ll probably pass. It just all depends. I want to play pretty much anywhere that’s paying good money.
TD: You came to Drake University as a transfer student, are you glad that you made that decision? What motivated you to come here?
CH: I am really glad that I made that decision. The decision was based upon going to a really good school and a good program not only athletically but academically and I am getting my master’s degree as well, and that’s a big plus in my eyes. I think I did make the right decision, and I don’t have any regrets.
TD: How do you think Drake has helped prepare you for the next chapter in your life?
CH: I think going through the ups and downs of this season is going to prepare me for life in general, but at Drake University, I think I’ve also learned a lot here in terms of in the classroom. I am going through some of the things that we go through in our master’s programming and learning some other things as well.
TD: What will you miss most about Drake?
CH: I’ll definitely miss the people. Everybody is really kind here, and everybody is really helpful.
TD: What has being a member of the Drake basketball team taught you?
CH: Being a member of the basketball team has taught me to be a family, not only on the court but off the court. We really are a family. We are a really close-knit team, and everybody has everybody’s back, and I think that really taught me that a team could not also just be a team on the court but could be a family as well off the court.
TD: What is your favorite memory been?
CH: The Creighton win was a really big win for us and was a memorable win for the program but just the guys and the people here, and that’s going to be the biggest memory for me.
TD: Is there anything you want to leave the fans with?
CH: I just want to say thank you to the fans, to the students and to everyone who supported us. Go Bulldogs.