WMBD/WYZZ-TV - BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - This is the final week of Brady Zimmer's basketball career. He has mixed emotions.
"Basketball is just a game, as much as I love it and will miss it. But there is more to life than basketball," Zimmer said. "A couple years ago I don't think I could've said that."
It's not that Zimmer is tired of basketball. It's that he's tired of being hurt.
"It's been a roller coaster ride since my sophomore year," the Illinois Wesleyan senior said. "Not being able to play with a shoulder injury. Then last year then last year and this year with a back. It seems like every day has been different."
A couple of years ago, Zimmer was eyeing a business job after graduation. But when he missed his sophomore season with an injury, the Delavan native got really involved in an IWU campus group called "Death, Resurrection, Life (DRL).
And he says it changed his life.
"I want to be a pastor and someday plant my own church," said Zimmer, who's Titans play in the Division III Final Four this weekend in Salem, Virginia.
IWU (27-4) plays Wisconsin-Whitewater (23-6) in the first national semifinal Friday at 5 p.m. (CDT)
"I couldn't be prouder of Brady Zimmer," said IWU head coach Ron Rose. "He hasn't scored as many points as I anticipated but I can tell you this, he has impacted more lives on campus than I would've guessed."
Zimmer admits the year away from basketball opened his door to another side of campus life
"I've been able to build relationships on this campus with students I wouldn't otherwise get to talk to because of my social groups and their social groups."
This week his social group is his basketball team. Then after that...
"After graduation I'd like to get on with a local church," said Zimmer. "Then maybe one day go far away and impact a different part of the world."