One last run

A supplementary article to "Men's Basketball is back at Memorial Hall

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“Yeah, it was a tough experience that anyone has to go through getting injured,” said Dan Gaines ’22.

The former preseason all-American point guard has decided to return to Muhlenberg for his final year of eligibility. Gaines, going into his 2021-2022 season, garnered a lot of hype and hope that he would carry his squad to much success in the Centennial Conference. Right before the halfway point of the season, however, Gaines suffered a season-ending injury on Jan. 14 against the Dickinson College Red Devils.

“It was obviously disappointing at first, and then throughout the duration of the season, I just tried to help out my teammates as much as I could, knowing I wouldn’t be able to be out there, but just trying to do as much as I could to help the team still,” said Gaines.

From an outsider perspective, the injury spelled the end to a four-year starter, but internally Gaines had unfinished business. Gaines utilized a fifth-year option, a choice many college athletes have used the past two years from the NCAA granting eligibility due to COVID canceling season play. “I think the initial plan going into the year was to do it anyway. But the injury happened and it just solidified it. I wanted to get out there for one more year. I’ve obviously enjoyed playing here with my teammates, as well as playing for the coaches, and also academically, but I just wanted to play to compete. No one really wants to get old,” said Gaines.

With all the awards and accolades Gaines has achieved, one thing has eluded him and his ‘Berg teammates during the last four years—a Centennial title. The Mules have certainly had their chances, during Gaines’ sophomore campaign, his team entered the conference tournament with a (18-7) record, before falling short of the title. 

“I think it just all started with winning,” said Gaines. “That’s always the main goal. The accolades are whatever but I think winning is ultimately what I want. And I think [it’s] what my teammates want.”

Going through five collegiate years can change a person, and also add some perspective. For Gaines, he wished he could’ve told his younger self to stop and smell the roses. “I would just say, enjoy the time, enjoy the time and work hard with everything you do. And that’s cliche, but it’s probably the biggest thing.”

Tom '23 is a Media Communication major who loves the world of sports. He is currently interested in continuing sports writing after his time with the Weekly. While not at the Weekly office, Tom enjoys sitting down and watching whatever is on ESPN and hanging out with his friends.

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