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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Wes Matthews reflects on journey to M Club Hall of Fame

Wesley+Matthews+was+inducted+into+the+M+Club+Hall+of+Fame+class+of+2024.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Marquette+Athletics.%29
Wesley Matthews was inducted into the ‘M Club’ Hall of Fame class of 2024. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Wes Matthews never envisioned he’d be where he is today.

He didn’t come to Marquette expecting to lead the men’s basketball program in free throws made (549), or sit 10th all-time in career points in program history (1,673) or ninth in all-time wins (94). And he definitely didn’t see himself becoming an ‘M Club’ Hall of Fame inductee.

But here he is, 15 years after leaving Marquette, sitting at the Fiserv Forum press conference podium, a mere few hours removed from his induction ceremony, reflecting on all he has accomplished in his career.

“I can’t say that I ever really thought like, ‘I’m gonna be in the Hall of Fame, like I’m coming here to be a Hall of Famer.’ It was get better every single day,” Matthews said. “And I think that’s a testament to what Marquette is.

“You just show up and you have the tools, you have the infrastructure, obviously you have to put the work in, but it’s there for you. And you could obtain a goal that you didn’t even know you were reaching for.”

Matthews was honored at halftime of Marquette’s game against Seton Hall on Saturday with the rest of the 2024 ‘M Club’ Hall of Fame class to a standing ovation and cheers from the sold-out Fiserv Forum.

“The roar of crowds being there, it just brings joy and happiness and just that thrill of competing with your brothers and your family and the crowd,” Matthews said. “Dream come true. There’s nothing like that. That feeling.”

Matthews said the support from the Marquette faithful is what he remembers most from his time as a Golden Eagle.

“That’s the one thing that I take away. The memories on the court, memories off the court, the relationships built. But man, that roar out there,” Matthews said. “I never had the pleasure to play in here. But the Bradley Center, I miss those days.

“That was my take away. It’s the fans, the community. The love of Marquette.”

In the crowd for his induction and alongside him during his speech was former teammate Jerel McNeal.

“Rel (Jerel) was always that one guy that — I said this earlier today — he really motivated and really pushed me because I came in and I thought that was tough,” Matthews said. “I am tough. I knew I was, but he had a whole other level of competitiveness to him and drive.

“We just pushed each other. And without Rel, I don’t know if I ever get to this point. Maybe I do, but I’m glad that he was there.”

Matthews said even though he isn’t in Milwaukee anymore, he can still feel the connection to Marquette no matter where he is.

“I credit Shaka (Smart) a lot today for really making alumni feel comfortable. And just the whole athletic department. I mean, between programs, we’ve got just such strong ties,” Matthews said. “The family and just that genuine love and care factor. That they care about what you’re doing, what’s going on, watching their kids grow up.

“How they still stay in contact and see their love for Marquette and bringing up memories. Marquette does a great job of keeping us a family.”

This article was written by Jack Albright. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @JackAlbrightMU.

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About the Contributor
Jack Albright, Executive Sports Editor
Jack Albright is a sophomore from Charlton, Massachusetts studying journalism. He is the Executive Sports Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, Jack likes to hang out with friends and watch Formula 1. He is excited to write fun stories about all things Marquette athletics and oversee new types of digital content.

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