Championships Men’s Final 8

U SPORTS sits down with one key athlete, coach, and staff member of each U SPORTS athletic program in our interview series “Getting to know…”

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  • Name: Matt Minutillo
  • School: Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Sport: Basketball
  • Position: Guard 
  • Year of Eligibility: 3
  • Program: Kinesiology
  • Hometown: Brantford, Ont.

1. What attracted you to Wilfrid Laurier University?

What first attracted me to Laurier was the size. Laurier provides an authentic university experience while also being able to maintain a close-knit, caring community feel. I can’t complain about only having to walk three minutes to my classes either (especially in the winter).

2.  What’s your favourite memory, and your greatest athletic achievement as a U SPORTS student-athlete?

My favourite memory was my first game I played in as a rookie. During the preseason, I checked in mid-way through the third quarter to give some older guys a rest, instead I ended up playing near the rest of the game, taking charges and knocking down a big three before my coach Justin Serresse yelled “That’s a rookie!” out of sheer excitement. My last charge of the game ended with three stitches in my bottom lip, a fitting welcome to university basketball. 

My greatest achievement has been this season, where I have maintained a top 10 offensive and defensive efficiency in our division, while being top three in three-point percentage in the OUA.

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3. Where are you hoping your path will take you after university?

After university, I hope to pursue a career as a paramedic as well as take time to travel and experience the world.

4. Who’s had the greatest influence on your athletic career?

My Dad. Growing up my siblings and I were always encouraged to play sports. The emphasis he put on working hard, being a team player, and being a leader, have shaped me into the athlete I am today. 

  5. Who is someone in the sports world, past or present, with whom you’d love to have dinner with? Why?

Steve Nash. The guy is the epitome of what every short white basketball player wants to be. 

6. What is your pre-game ritual? Do you have any specific superstitions / idiosyncrasies around preparing yourself for a game?

Pre-game involves a lot of me time. Going over in my head my responsibilities, the scout, and how I am going to help the team in this particular game, staying calm and focused. Just before tip we have a team cheer, which usually ends in a mosh pit, has me ready for game time. 

As far as idiosyncrasies go, I think I tie and untie my shoes about five times throughout a game (99 per cent of the time my shoes don’t need to be retied).

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7. What’s your go-to song to get pumped up for practice or a game?

Living by Bakermat (ft. Alex Clare)

8. What’s your favourite social media account to follow?

National Geographic 

9. If you could try another sport, what would it be and why?

Mountain biking, I think just being outdoors in nature and pairing that with the adrenaline of high speed down-hill biking would be an amazing experience. 

10. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you as an athlete?

Scoring on my own net to start the second half of a basketball game – I really thought I fooled everyone.