Van Treese's long journey coming to an end

University of Louisville center Stephan Van Treese will be honored during a Senior Day ceremony prior to the Cardinals final regular season game against Connecticut on Saturday afternoon at the KFC Yum! Center.

Stephan Van Treese will play his final home game with the University of Louisville basketball team on Saturday, ending a long journey.

And that journey had several bumps in the road, but the 6-foot-9 Van Treese will end his career as a key role player for the Cardinals.

"He's done a lot of good things for this program," U of L coach Rick Pitino said. "He doesn't have to score to impact the game."

Van Treese, who has started 14 games this season, said he's thankful to be at U of L on senior day after almost transferring from the school prior to last season.

"Thinking back to the journey I have been on here," he said. "It's been pretty amazing. I have chose to come to Louisville three times.

"When I first committed here, after I was getting ready to leave and then I came back and this year to come back again (as a fifth-year senior). It's been awesome and it's been the best decision I've ever made."

Van Treese came to U of L after a solid career at Indianapolis Lawrence North. He played in 16 games as a freshman and then started 12 games and played in 33 as a sophomore. He averaged 2.9 points and 3.5 rebounds that season.

As a junior, Van Treese only played in three games because of an injury. He played in 37 games last season, starting one, and averaged 1.7 points and 3.1 rebounds as Gorgui Dieng's backup. He had several key games, including when Dieng was sidelined with an injury and in the NCAA Tournament as a backup.

"He's played some big minutes for us," Pitino said, noting Van Treese is known for his hustle.

Van Treese was going to transfer prior to last season and had his bags packed. But he spoke with Pitino and decided to stick around.

"It was literally a one-day turn around," he said. "I was getting stuff ready to head out of the dorm and it turned into the best decision of my life, so far at least.

"It's all worked out well for me."

Van Treese has already graduated with a degree in sports administration and said he's uncertain about his future. But he's thinking Senior Day ceremonies will be tough.

"I've lost sleep over it thinking about everything," he said. "It's crazy."

In 119 career games, Van Treese has started 27 and has 256 points and 400 career rebounds.

"I don't have to score," he said. "It's fun for me to be out on the floor and doing what I love. I can't believe it's coming to an end."

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