Senior guard Jaleni Neely is primed and ready for the upcoming 2016-17 season. Neely, a native of Chicago, Ill., is on track to graduate in May with a degree in undergraduate studies. He's a three-year member of the Northern Arizona men's basketball team and one of three seniors ready to lead the team by example.
What are you most looking forward to this season?
Getting a chance to play a Big Sky Conference game. Since I've been here I've only been able to play through the non-conference, so this is something I am really looking forward to.
How does it feel to be chosen to represent NAU during this Prescott/Phoenix media blitz?
It's an honor because it's my last year and I get to go out on a good note. I'm looked at as a leader, so being able to tell our story and get the public excited about the season is nice.
How will the team take their ranking in the Big Sky Preseason Polls and use it as motivation?
We have to go out on a daily basis and play every game like it's our last, because we have high expectations for ourselves this year. It doesn't matter whether you're picked first or last, you still have to go out there and win ball games.
What does it mean to play college ball and get a degree at the same time?
It's a privilege. I'm really grateful because not every gets this opportunity. I try not to take it for granted and make the most of it every day.