The Indy talks to Harvard’s fourth Hobey Baker winner.
Indy: It has been almost two weeks now since you won the Hobey Baker Award. What was that like in the moment, and how has it been in the time since?
JV: It was a really cool moment to experience in person and with my eleven family members who were present. My phone really blew up with congratulatory phone calls and text messages in the ensuing day or so. Since then, it’s died down, and I’m trying to get back into my regular routine of being a student at Harvard.
Indy: To an outsider, winning the Hobey might seem to justify your decision to return for your senior year. But before the season even ended, you wrote for the Player’s Tribune that you have felt justified in that decision for a while. Now that the season is finally over, what was your favorite hockey moment of your senior year or your Harvard career?
JV: I feel totally justified in my decision to return to school for my senior year. Although the Hobey Baker is an unbelievable individual honor, we all would’ve loved nothing more than to win a national championship. As for my senior season, my favorite moment would have to be winning my last regular season home game at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center on senior night and sharing the moment with my parents and extended family. I think my favorite overall memory of Harvard Hockey is when we beat Yale in the ECAC Quarterfinal playoff series in 2015. I had never beaten Yale before that weekend, and we were able to beat them in a best-of-three series, where we ultimately won the third game in double-overtime.
Indy: What do you think was the toughest moment you or the team overcame this season?
JV: Our toughest challenge was definitely battling injuries throughout the year. We lost several key players at different stages of the season. However, it was inspiring to see how admirably everyone else stepped up to fill the void.
Indy: You have obviously achieved a lot as an athlete in your time at Harvard. But what is your favorite accomplishment off the ice?
JV: I would say that I’m most proud of how involved the team has become in the community, both at Harvard and locally. I know, as seniors, we tried to make this more of a priority for Harvard Hockey, and I think we definitely succeeded in that regard. We made multiple community service efforts – skating with the One Summit foundation, volunteering at the Y2Y Shelter, teaching kids to skate at “Making Strides Count” after school program, volunteering at the Cristo Rey School in Boston. We tried to be more involved on campus in hopes of attracting more fans at our games. I think the fact that attendance has been up over the past two years is evidence of our efforts’ success.
Indy: Any plans beyond hockey in your last few weeks here at Harvard and into the summer, hockey or otherwise?
JV: In these last few weeks, I’d like to enjoy my remaining time at Harvard with my friends and classmates. It will be the last few weeks of my life where I’m just a college kid, and not in the real world. I think it will be a fun time before I have to get training again.
Indy Sports (firstname.lastname@example.org) congratulates Vesey and wishes him a happy last few weeks at Harvard!