People remember great players by individual accolades. Erecting halls of fame and keeping record books are indeed great ways to honor talented players. However, once in a while, a player comes along leaving a mark that won’t be tallied in a box score.

Coaches can’t teach it, and players can’t develop it. It is a combination of personality and work ethic.

Michael Jordan had it. Franklin Delano Roosevelt epitomized it during the Great Depression. Vince Lombardi preached it on the sidelines. Yet, it is thrown around without the decorum it signifies – leadership. No matter how you define it or break it down, its uniqueness and clout affects people on all levels.

Senior Seth Hauben shows it everytime he steps onto the hardwood in the Palestra. Whether it is in practice or in a game, Hauben leads his teammates by his example along with his endless pursuit for a national championship.

He has won countless Most Valuable Player and All-Tournament Team awards, but his humble demeanor reflects his drive to lead the UR men’s basketball team.

Yes, he does fill the box score with impressive numbers, each game, but his teammates praise has given Hauben the reputation as leader – on and off the court.

“It is very seldom that a person gets the opportunity to play alongside an individual as accomplished as Seth,” freshman Jon Onyiriuka said. “A lot of his qualities as a basketball player and a person have rubbed off on me as well as others. Personally, he has helped me progress as a basketball player sooner, that I had even expected. He is the teacher and I am the student.”

Senior Ryan Mee entered October practice playing his best basketball. He worked all summer to improve his game for his last season playing basketball.

In a split second, his basketball career came to a screeching halt. He completely tore his anterior cruciate ligament during practice before the season started. This was devastating news for Mee, his teammate, and coaches.

Mee vividly recalls the aftermath of his injury.

“I am sure some people second-guess my decision – risking tearing the rest of my ligaments and cartilage in my knee, but I just want them to know it wasn’t even a tough decision for me,” he said. “The biggest motivation for me was to finish out my basketball career with the players I came in with. It’s not everyday you get to play with an All-American. I can’t imagine not finishing out my career alongside Seth.”

Twenty years from now, the UR basketball record book will place Hauben and Mee as teammates on a team that accomplished special things.

However, the special thing is the devotion of one player to another, a leader’s impact on a friend and teammate and a player’s commitment to his team and leader. The 2004-2005 men’s basketball season deserves an asterisk in the history book – an asterisk the size of Hauben.

Hauben does more than score points and rip down rebounds. He leads through action and example. He stays humble and focused by being a team player and a leader.

Rovinsky can be reached at mrovinsky@campustimes.org.



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