Cougar of the Week: John Karas

by Mai Hayashi
Scarlet Staff

Photo by Mai Hayashi

Name: John Karas
Year: Junior
Home: Glastonbury, Connecticut
Sport: Basketball
Position: Guard

Q. How long have you been playing basketball?

A. I have been playing basketball since 5 years old. I liked it a lot.

Q. How is this season going?

A. The season has been up and down for us. We are 8-9 currently and have lost the last 2 games. We have hit a rough patch lately and are working hard to snap out of it. The NEWMAC conference is one of the toughest in America, and there are no easy games. So we have been focusing one game at a time and hope to put a string of wins together to end the season and push us forward into the playoffs.

Q. How is the condition of your team?

A. One of best players, Brian Vayda, is out for the season with a foot injury. We have been without him for most of the season and proved we can play well without him, so we need to start playing at a high level again.

Q. How were the Christmas games in New Orleans?

A. Our trip to New Orleans was great. We beat Southern Maine in our first game. Our team came out focused and ready to go. The second game, we faced Birmingham-Southern. This is the best team we’ve faced this season, and they are currently ranked no. 12 in the country. We came out hungry and proved we can play with the best teams in the nation. Our defense play was stellar, and we were able to take Birmingham Southern out of their element. We had two shots to win it at the end of the game with less than 5 seconds left, but could not convert either, and ended up losing by 1. It was a tough loss, but we took so many positives away from the trip and all the games.

Q. Do you have any games that you are excited for?

A. We are playing with no. 6 in the country, MIT, on Wednesday, so we are pumped for that. Also, we can’t wait to play at WPI, which is the last game of the season. Our cross town rival beat us in our first meeting, and we are thirsty for a win against. Our best basketball is ahead of us, and we are optimistic about the closing stretch of the season.

Q. How did basketball change your life?

A. Basketball is my life. I don’t know what I am going to do without it.

Q. Do you have any memorable moment?

A. In freshman year, we beat MIT and WPI at NEWMAC tournament. Then we made it to the 2010 NCAA Division III Men’s basketball championship, and we beat off Albright University which was number one college in Penn.

Q. What is your motivation?

A. I just want to win and don’t want to lose.