A crush on Greg Paulus

When I sat down to write this column, I didn't know where to begin. Quite literally, I would still be sitting here with nothing had there been no deadline. That I had already missed. Twice.

But then I began thinking about what people hadn't written about in their senior columns. Everyone has been beating around the bush, but no one has really come out and said what's on the minds of most girls on campus: Greg Paulus.

I have a crush on Greg Paulus.

Poor guy, it's not like he did anything to deserve this. I mean, other than being on the basketball team and being really nice and really cute... sigh.

But seriously, this is not a shocking statement. I do not have to be a rocket scientist or a bio major to tell you what you already know-that most of the Duke female population has a little *NSYNC-like crush on Greg Paulus.

Everyone has already talked about the nostalgia of leaving Duke. I've laughed, cried and smiled with the best group of friends anyone could ask for and people I am going to stay in touch with for life. I've slept through classes and slept in Krzyzewskiville through the wind, rain, snow and shine. I've had every opportunity imaginable, from quadrupling my wardrobe with free T-shirts to dissecting pig knees in state-of-the-art orthopedic facilities.

But I haven't had the opportunity, until now, to share my first experience talking to Greg Paulus.

I've written for the sports section of The Chronicle since my freshman year. But it's not like when I was covering a men's basketball game that I could really bring up with Coach K during a press conference that I had a crush on his point guard. You would actually have to be insane.

Instead, being a sportswriter has its perks-you interview players in the locker room. And junior year covering my very first men's basketball game (Duke's home win over Miami in 2008), I was definitely anxious about interviewing Greg for the first time.

To set the scene, I am the most awkward interviewer of all time, and the players are all half-naked in towels. Our interview went something as follows:

Me: So Greg, DeMarc played really well tonight. Could you talk to me a little about that?

Greg: Yeah, DeMarc has a huge presence on the court and really led us tonight. He's really dangerous and is a threat on both the offense and defense. He's a very dangerous player and played great tonight.

Me: Yeah, he is really dangerous.... (as my voice trails off and I sound like I am actually on Cloud Nine) Uhhhh, could you, uh, talk about your offensive run in the, umm, second quarter?

"He is really dangerous"?! Are you kidding me?! I actually said that out loud. You can blatantly hear it on the recording, which my roommate Erin almost died listening to. We listened to my response over and over again and just laughed. It was not my prime moment.

But it was definitely one of my most embarrassing moments with The Chronicle and has turned into a really great inside joke with my friends. It's moments like this at Duke that keep you grounded and never allow you to take yourself too seriously. If you leave here without ever learning a bit of humility, then you probably didn't live your college experience to the fullest.

Luckily, my Australian boyfriend of a year keeps me grounded as well. His name is also Greg, which is a little ironic in the context of this column. But in the end, I don't really know which is more absurd-being in love with someone who literally cannot be any farther away, or dating Greg Paulus.

Apparently, it is the latter. But sorry, Greg Paulus, I'm already taken.

Katie Riera is a Trinity senior and associate sports editor.


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