A political science major from Batavia, N.Y., senior Mike Chmielowiec always seems to bring his best game when it matters the most. Just this past weekend, Chmielowiec lit up Washinton University in St. Louis which is currently ranked No. 2 in the d3hoops.com poll for 32 points, going 10-11 from the free-throw line.

But his success on the court has not been limited to just one game Chmielowiec also currently leads the University Athletic Association with 21.3 points per game.

This past weekend’s game was yet another example of a close matchup that you’ve been in that’s come down to the wire. How do you keep your cool during those kinds of tight games?

I think the best advice I ever got about basketball is don’t worry about the outcome, just go out and play and enjoy the moment.
In close games, the worst thing that can happen is that you lose, and if I have to lose, I’d rather lose knowing that I didn’t cave to the pressure then it’s easier to handle.

What about pre-game rituals are you superstitious in any way?
I’m not too superstitious. If we’re at home, I always make pasta before the game. My mom used to make it for me before high school games so I carried it over into college.
Then, right before the game, my routine’s pretty specific: I go to the training room, watch the first half of the girl’s game, go into the locker room, take a shower and then go back to the trainer.

Wait. You take a shower before the game?
I do. It started on Sundays, because it would wake me up, and then I started carrying it over to Fridays just because it worked for Sundays.

What is your favorite thing about UR?

I would say the people. I’ve made so many good friends here.
Just thinking about the other places I could have gone to college, I’m really glad that I didn’t pass up this opportunity.

What’s something interesting about you that people might not know?

I love the History Channel.

What are you planning on doing after you graduate?

Right now, I’m planning on trying to play basketball overseas hopefully some place in Europe.

Hilfinger is a member of the class of 2010.

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