April 28, 2009 - by
Florida State Men’s Basketball: Senior Thoughts

April 28, 2009





Seniors Toney Douglas, Uche Echefu and Brian Hoff
are playing in their finals days as members of the Seminole
men’s basketball team. With a national ranking in
hand and more goals to reach on the horizon, each of
the three players took time to reflect on the careers at
Florida State.

Think back to the day you decided to go play basketball
at Florida State. What was the first thing you
remember saying or thinking to yourself about that
decision?

TD: The first thing I said to myself was that I was
going to play in the ACC which is regarded as the top
basketball conference in the country with the best
guards in the country. Those two facts really excited
me about playing at Florida State.
UE: I decided to come to Florida State to be a part
of history and help make the basketball program at
Florida State into a national contender. Throughout
the recruiting process, I knew that Florida State was
the best place to help me grow both academically and
athletically and become the best person I could be.
BH: When I first decided to come to Florida State I
was nervous because it was a big decision about where
I was going to spend the next four years of my life.
It proved to be a great decision and my career, both
academically and athletically, has been great.

What is the best thing you have heard come out of a
coach’s mouth in your time here (could be in a practice,
game, road trip, shoot-around, etc.)?

TD: The coaching staff believes in us as players and as
a team. The coaching staff believes that we can be a
very special team this season.
UE: Our coaching staff believes in us and knows that
we can all be great players when we all, collectively, put
our minds together and work towards a common goal.
BH: The best thing I’ve heard from a coach’s mouth
was when I walked into Coach Hamilton’s office this
past summer and he told me that I would be on scholarship
for the final year of my career.


Playing in the ACC and against some top non-conference
schools each year has given you the opportunity
to compete in some really fun venues. What has been
your favorite place to play and why is it your favorite?

TD: I love playing at Duke because the fans are great
and the atmosphere is exciting.
UE: My favorite venue (besides playing in front of our
own fans) has to be Cameron Indoor Stadium. They
have great fans and they are so close to the court that
they can almost touch you during the game.
BH: Cameron Indoor Stadium because the arena is full
of tradition and the students are great.

Of all the wins that this program has accumulated
while you’ve been here, which one victory will you
always remember and why?

TD: Heading into the final month of the season, my
most memorable wins came when we beat Duke in
Cameron Indoor Stadium and when we beat Clemson
during my senior season. In both games, we had the
mental toughness as a team to step up and win the
game.
UE: The win that I will remember the most, up until
now, was when we defeated Duke in Cameron Indoor
Stadium.
BH: Our victory over Maine during my junior season
because I hit five 3-point shots is my favorite moment.
Another game that is very special to me was when the
students rushed the court twice when we defeated
Duke during my sophomore season.

This program not only prides itself on winning but
what it does for the community as well. What has
been your favorite community service project that
you’ve taken part in?

TD: I have really enjoyed participating in The Relay for
Life and going to the Boy’s and Girl’s clubs around the
area to give basketball clinics.
UE: Giving back to the community is very important
to Coach Hamilton and our program. My most favorite
community effort was when we went bowling with
the kids from the local Boy’s and Girl’s club.
BH: My favorite community service project came during
the summer of 2008 when we went bowling with
the kids from the Boy’s and Girl’s club. The community
service projects that we perform give us a chance
to have fun with the kids as well as put a smile on their
face. The kids loved it and so did we.


What is the funniest thing you’ve ever heard an opposing
fan say to you?

TD: The funniest thing that I have heard from an opposing
fan was at the Clemson game this season when
I was on the free throw line late in the game and the
fans started calling me Stephanie Douglas which is my
mother’s name.
UE:
The funniest thing a fan has said to me during my
career came this season at Clemson when a fan yelled
to me that I had the skinniest legs in the ACC.
BH: During our game at Duke my sophomore season
a group of the Cameron Crazies talked to me throughout
warm-ups, calling me names like Backstreet Boy
the entire time. They had a dry erase board so they
were able to continuously make up new things. It was
actually pretty funny.


When Coach Hamilton calls a timeout, he almost
always tells me/us to…

TD: He always tells us to play with a high energy level
and play as hard as we can on the defensive end of the
court. The most important thing he points out to is
that all of the players have to rebound. For me personally,
he expects me to have the team organized and on
the same page.
UE:Rebound. Rebound. Rebound.
BH: Whenever I am in a game during a time out he
tells me to knock down shots when I am open and
defend.


Who would you consider to be the best player you
ever played with or against while at Florida State and what
makes that player so special?

TD: Chris Paul of Wake Forest is the best player I have
played against during my career at Florida State. He is
a true student of the game and makes everyone around
him better.
UE: Al Thornton, who was one of my teammates at
Florida State because he is the hardest working player I
have ever been around.
BH: Al Thornton because has the most incredible work
ethic of any play I have ever been around. He is the
hardest working player I have ever known.


Growing up, when and why did you start playing basketball
and when did you sit back and think “Wow, I
could be good enough to play in the ACC”

TD: I started playing basketball when I was three-years
old and began to believe that I could play in the ACC when I
was a freshman in high school.
UE: I began playing basketball in Nigeria in the ninth
grade and came to the United
States for three years of
high school basketball. I
realized that I could play in
the ACC during my senior
year of high school.
BH: I started playing basketball
before I can remember. When
I got to the high school level, I
realized I could play in college and
reaching that dream at Florida State
has been incredible.


What is the one Seminole basketball
memory that will always stick in your
mind?

TD: The lasting memory of Florida State
basketball will be having the belief in my
teammates that we can do anything we set our
minds to. I look to my teammates and they look
to me for motivation and we are looking to prove
to people that we are all winners and good basketball
players. I was always remember gaining the trust of
my teammates which has meant a great deal to me.
UE: My best memories of playing at Florida State will
be the tremendous support we received from our fans.
BH: The one memory that will stick in my mind is
one that were are hopefully preparing for – the NCAA
Tournament.


What will you miss most about playing basketball at
Florida State?

TD: I will miss my teammates. It is a blessing to play
with them and I am going to miss them when I am
gone. I will miss them as friends both on and off the
court.
UE: The two things I will miss the most about playing
at Florida State are my basketball family and the
Seminole fans.
BH: I will miss the camaraderie between me and my
teammates as well as our coaching staff. I know I
will never be a part of anything as special as this team
again, so I am cherishing my time as a member of the
Seminole men’s basketball team.


What kind of legacy do you hope to leave when your
career is over?

TD:The legacy I want to leave is for people is to
remember me as a good person and as a winner. I
want to help our team reach the NCAA Tournament
and put Florida State Basketball on the map. Once we
establish a tradition our coaching staff and my current
teammates will keep it going for a long time.
UE: I would like to the Seminole fans to know that I
was a good individual – a good person – and not just
as basketball player.
BH: I hope to be a part of the first senior class to lead
the Seminoles to the NCAA Tournament since 1998. I
would also like to be remembered as a selfless person
and a team first leader.

By Chuck Walsh and Brett Brecheisen
Sports Information Office

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