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Athlete Profile: Reggie Hearn
Senior Reggie Hearn kicked off last season’s opener as a starting guard for the Northwestern University Wildcats on Nov. 13, 2011. Though that was his first time starting, he has since started in all 51 games he has played. As of press time, Hearn has racked up career-high averages in points per game, rebounds per game, minutes per game and field goal percentage this season. He has also matched his season high in steals with 22 so far. During the Wildcats’ Jan. 17 win against the then No. 23-ranked University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Fighting Illini and their Jan. 20 loss to the No. 2-ranked University of Indiana Hoosiers, Hearn scored more than 20 points in back-to-back games for the first time this season, making him the Wildcats’ leading scorer of the season. A former walk-on, his 14 1/2 points per game is currently ninth highest in the Big Ten. Hearn spoke with The Chronicle Jan 23, a day before the Wildcats’ 55–48 victory over the No. 12-ranked University of Minnesota Golden Gophers about his role on the team, his teammates and their competition.
The Chronicle: What does having a leadership role on this team entail?
Reggie Hearn: The biggest thing for me is leading by example. It’s cliché, but I’m always talking about working hard in practice. Working hard in practice translates to the game. So [I need to] set that example for the guys and also vocally, which is tougher for me because I’ve always been [a] quieter player. But I’m trying to come out and be a little more vocal with the guys—tell them what to do, what we expect and things like that.
Does your relationship with your teammates off the court help you with your leadership role?
Yeah, a little bit. All the guys are easygoing. We all get along well. There’s no hostility at all when I’m trying to tell them what to do or what’s to be expected.
Fellow senior and team forward Jared Swopshire’s productivity has risen lately. What has he been doing
I definitely think he’s been more aggressive offensively. And that’s something a couple other guys and I have said to him. With JerShon Cobb to go down to start the year and now Drew [Crawford] recently, guys have to step up and be more aggressive offensively. You know, Swop is somebody that we need to do that to in order to do well and in order to win. He’s definitely stepped it up in that end. He’s continuing his rebounding, which we definitely need him to do. So, he’s been huge for us.
The Wildcats are facing a handful of the Big Ten’s ranked opponents and upcoming games. Do you mind the tough conference
We’re in the Big Ten. That’s the way it is. We just have to [prepare] ourselves mentally to come out and have a pretty difficult opponent each and every night. That’s all we can really say. We’re going to have a tough game every night, and we just have to be ready to play.
Is there a favorite Big Ten arena you like to play in?
I like to play in Assembly Hall [home of the Hoosiers]. I just really like the setup of the court. It’s compact, and playing in my home state is also a plus.