UAlbany senior Peter Hooley writes heartfelt letter thanking fans, coaches, and teammates

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – University at Albany senior, and well renowned superstar, Peter Hooley wrote a letter showing his gratitude to the university as well as his teammates, coaches and fans.

Despite being Upset by Hartford Wednesday night in the America East Quarterfinals, all Hooley could do was say thank you.

Hooley said thank you to all his teammates, coaches, and the UAlbany fans for embracing him the way he did.

Here is the full blog post that Hooley tweeted earlier called “Living a Different Dream”:

“I don’t know where to begin. But, five years ago I made the decision to come across the other side of the world and try my luck at college basketball in America. Looking back, never in my wildest dreams would I have envisioned the journey I have had, and I owe it to everyone who has been around me throughout my time.

I was just a small country kid from South Australia when I was given the chance to come here to play basketball. I had no intentions of ever playing division 1 basketball, but I got this chance. I had no intentions of ever having the success I have had over my time here, but I did. I had no intentions of ever gaining a second family across the other side of the world, but I have.

I guess the normal trend of college sport is to come and play at a high level, get an education and then be on your way after that. But I never saw it like that. I saw a program and a community that took me in as one of their own, and showed me an experience that I still cannot fathom. And for that, I say thank you.

From the moment I stepped foot on this campus in 2011, I could never have predicted how my life would turn out over the next five years. From championships on the court to dual degrees in the classroom, my life will forever be different because of my time here. Through all my ups and downs, I have seen the true value of life firsthand, and the fragileness of it as well. I have always believed that family is the most important thing in the world, and I am special enough to have two of them on the opposite sides of the planet.

Thank you to all the fans of the program who have ridden every high and every low with me and our teams for the past five years. We do everything for you because we see how much we all enjoy success together.

Thank you to the University for showing me how to not only get a great education and be surrounded by some incredible people, but to also show me that school goes much further than simply sitting in a classroom. Every student that has been through this University will forever be connected, because we all have this place together. I was so grateful to have the opportunity to speak on behalf of my graduating class last year, and I am so thankful to have been able to enjoy my academics as well as prosper in them.

Thank you to all my coaches who I have had over my career for getting me to where I am today on the basketball court. You took a small town country kid from Australia and helped me achieve more success than I could have ever dreamed of. Three championships in succession, along with many other incredible memories. You helped me grow and you helped me shine, and for that I thank you.

Thank you Coach Brown, for not only helping me to reach my full potential as a basketball player, but for also being something much more to me as a person. I don’t think players are supposed to have had the relationship we had, but the way you watched over me and guided me in all my ways of life, I can never say thank you enough for. Whenever I struggled or fell, your door was always open to help me stand again.  You could have taken a chance on anyone else, but you chose me. You never knew who I was, heck you probably didn’t even know if I could really play basketball, but you took a chance. We have been through a lot together, but the one thing that I will forever remember is how you have helped me become the man I am today. So for so many things, I say thank you.

Thank you to my teammates, all of them who I have had the privilege of playing alongside across my time here. I shouldn’t refer to you as just teammates, because you are so much more than that, you are my brothers. Through all the highs and all the lows, you showed me the true value of a team, but even more so, you showed me the true value of family. I love you all. I will forever miss our locker room shenanigans and bus rides, but when we see each other again years down the track, I can’t wait to bask in the memories together. I wish you all the most success in your future endeavors you are all destined for greatness in so many different ways, and best believe I will be following your every move. Purplefam for life.

Taking away all my on court and off court success, I have managed to have the time of my life here at UAlbany. I learned so much about myself along this journey that I have become a better man for it. I have made friends for life and a second home that will always be here for me. I don’t know how many people can truly say that, so I feel deeply privileged to have been a part of such a great school, program and community. I gave everything I had to this place, and my only regret is that I can’t do it all again. I hope that I have left my mark on some people’s lives and made them better, because that has always been important to me. I leave this place a better basketballer, a better student but perhaps most importantly, a better person. And ultimately, that’s all I could have ever asked for.

I used to think that playing basketball at college in America would be the toughest challenge I would face when I first came here. But I was wrong. The toughest challenge was being able to take all the highs and lows that college throws at you and still stand. It was being able to realize that college is all about making mistakes and learning from them and growing and becoming better for it. College is a stepping-stone to your future, and I have left so many beautiful footprints behind me as I have stepped on forth.

If I had to give advice to anyone who was about to take a step towards their college life, it would be quite simple – enjoy every single moment. Laugh when you can and cry when you have to. Live in every moment and don’t look back, it’ll be over before you know it. And always… always, be thankful and put others first, because you never know what could happen next.

My time here is nearly at an end, and it truly saddens me to see it go. But all good things must come to an end I guess…

I don’t know what God has in store for me next, but what I know for sure is that I will forever be a Great Dane and I will forever have a special home right here!

From the bottom of my heart,

Thank you, Albany.”

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