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Athlete of the week: Deaver ’15 lifts Bruno to spotless conference mark

Staggering eight total goals in wins over Harvard and MIT earn senior Athlete of the Week

Last weekend, the men’s water polo team triumphed over rivals Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology thanks in large part to Nick Deaver ’15. He led the Bears’ offensive onslaught en route to victory by scoring four goals in each game. Due to his spectacular performances in the pool, Deaver has been selected as The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.


Herald: How long have you been playing water polo and what got you into it?

I started as a swimmer when I was around three. My dad got me really focused into swimming. I didn’t particularly like swimming at all, but I got enough coaching and lessons, and my dad pushed me hard enough so I got pretty good at it. Then, when I was 8 years old, a water polo camp was started in my area and I decided to give it a shot. It was a pretty tough camp, but I liked combining ball sports with hand-eye coordination and swimming. So, I sort of had an advantage because I’d been swimming for so long compared to the other kids playing water polo. Then, there was a club team being started in my neighborhood and I decided to see what it was like. It ended up being one of the more fun sports I had ever played. It was new and exciting and had not been around in our area for long. I also wanted to do something different than what my dad did — he was a pitcher — and I wanted to play a sport he knew nothing about.


Why did you choose to come to Brown?

Originally, I was looking on the West Coast schools for water polo and swimming. I figured I could use water polo or swimming to get into a decent college. Late in the game, I sent an email to my coach (Felix Mercado). He said he would send some guy to watch me play. He came out and watched me play, and I had a spectacular weekend. I thought Brown was a cool school, it has an open curriculum. Also, I really wanted to throw myself out onto the East Coast, do something different and put myself outside my comfort zone.


How is it being one of only a few upperclassmen on the team? 

At first, it seemed like a challenging position to be in because we have six freshmen and it is (the seniors’) last chance to win the East Coast title. We have had arguably the best team on the East Coast the last three years. So, it was challenging because I’m one of these main factors, along with the other seniors, who have to bring the team together. We got a new assistant coach this year, and he’s brought a lot of experience as well. I’m just happy to be one of the seniors. It’s a tough job, it’s like a 40-hour week job, but I have had a great time getting to know the freshmen and the team.


How do you think you’ve grown as a player since your freshman year?

I think I’ve learned a lot over the last four years. My patience has grown enormously over the years. I’m talking about my patience dealing with referees, best friends and teammates, coaches and whoever else is involved. I was sort of a hothead coming into the program. My attitude was a little sour in the beginning, but I’ve learned to correct that in the last few years with good coaching and having to play cohesively with my teammates. It’s become a lot less about me, a lot more about the team.


What do you think are your greatest accomplishments in your playing career?

There were moments that I’ve had where I’ve been playing the whole game and I’m totally exhausted and we needed a goal to go ahead. I’m thinking of two games: my freshman year against Bucknell and last year versus Navy, where I’ve had no energy left, dug deep for it and put away a goal in the last second to win those games.


What’s your outlook on the rest of the season, and how far do you think the team can go? 

I’m incredibly excited about the potential of the team for the season. We have all kinds of talent and personality on the squad, which makes me excited to go to practice each day. It’s about three things: We’re working our (expletive) off in practice every day so we’re in great shape, we have got talent and skill and we have great people on the team. Practices are only getting harder. The coaches are keeping their feet on the gas pedal and with that kind of shape, we can go all the way.


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