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Q & A with Nick Berardini

The most spirited member of the Tigers talks about the responsibility of being a walk-on and meeting Vince Vaughn
Wednesday, February 28, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 4:27 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Q. How valuable do you think your contributions are to the team?

A. Personally, I don’t know. That’s probably something you’d have to ask the other guys because I see a lot of what I do helps but it’s also such an obscure role. It’s not really up to you; it’s more up to the coaches and players for how valuable I am. It’s a hard job to self-evaluate. You can’t go on stats or anything like that.

Q. What do you think your biggest contribution is to the team?

A. I think there’s a lot of things that I do to help out. The biggest might be, for this year, leadership and experience, and knowing the way things work and having the right attitude about knowing how you’re supposed to go about your business in college basketball. I think just being around for the guys to use however they want. That’s a little ambiguous, but, just in general, just being there.

Q. How long have you had this much team spirit?

A. Since forever. That’s why I knew I could be a good walk-on because ever since I could remember I’ve always been fiery like that and a guy, especially in high school, that was a leader playing football and basketball. I was captain of both. You just gotta be able to put everything around the team in front of yourself. As far as I can remember, I’ve always had to do that.

Q. Is there a responsibility that goes with being a walk-on?

A.I think there is. The responsibilities go a lot further than being a good practice player. You have to be a good role model off the floor, you have to do the right things, you have to be available to the guys for whatever they need you for. That could be just anything.

Maybe it could be help with a class that you took that they’re taking now. Or, it could be a ride to go somewhere. It has everything with on-the-court, off-the-court, being a role model.

Q. What’s it like to hear your name chanted by all the fans?

A. It’s exciting. It’s been a while. I kind of forgot about it a little bit, but it’s exciting. I obviously appreciate it because I’ve gone through a lot to be here, and it’s a rewarding experience.

Q. You and Vince Vaughn are both from Lake Forest, Ill. What is your favorite Vince Vaughn movie?

A. Oh, man. I’m a big “Wedding Crashers” fan because I feel like Matt (Lawrence) and I are going to be 30 years old one day doing the same thing. I’m a big “Old School” fan and “Rudy”... You know, I am a huge Notre Dame football fan and “Rudy” was his first movie, people don’t even really realize that. Most of it I’m pretty partial to.

Q. Have you ever met Vince Vaughn?

A. Yeah, I have. He’s just, you know, as good a guy as you can meet and down to earth. He really makes our town proud with the way he represents himself.

Q. Cubs or White Sox?

A. Cubs.

Q. Is this the year?

A. They spent $300 million so this better be the year. It better be the year.

Q. What did you think of the White Sox winning the World Series in 2005?

A. I was OK. My little brother is a Sox fan so I was happy for him.


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