Jeremy Hemsley reflects upon his final game as an Aztec


Raymond Gorospe

Senior guard Jeremy Hemsley walks off the court following the Aztecs' 65-56 victory over Nevada on March 15 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

by Aaron Tolentino, Assistant Sports Editor

Within 30 minutes after the buzzer hit triple zero against Utah State to end San Diego State’s season, Jeremy Hemsley sat down in the locker room at the Thomas and Mack Center.

It was in Las Vegas for the Mountain West Championships where the senior guard would remove his jersey for the final time.

A jersey that had “San Diego State” written across his chest.

A jersey that had “Hemsley” and the number 42 on his back.

A jersey that he wore for four years at the Mesa.

Hemsley said he was reflective of those final moments minutes after the loss.

“Emotions are just me realizing that it’s over with,” he said. “I’m not playing with these guys that I love anymore. And that’s just what it is, and that’s okay.”

The 6-foot-3 guard from Rancho Cucamonga had his head faced down during parts of the press conference, seemingly trying to contain his tears.

At least his family was able to see him don that jersey one final time.

It took until his senior year, but Hemsley’s family made its way to the conference tournament for the first time – his mom, dad, younger brother and younger sister were all in attendance.

Hemsley’s family was seen with matching t-shirts that wrote “Team Hemsley” and the number 42 on the back.

Hemsley told The Daily Aztec his family was with him every step of the way during his time at SDSU.

It was fitting the family got to see its star play one last time.

“They’ve done everything for me,” Hemsley said. “They’ve helped me through a tough time in my life. They’ve made me feel like I wasn’t alone. They’ve supported me when I play good or bad. That’s what they always do.”

His family has witnessed a career of many ups and downs.

From playing in the NCAA Tournament his junior year to averaging 12 points per game as a freshman to even opening up about his mental illness, Hemsley has been through it all at SDSU.

Obviously, Hemsley’s family’s support has been paramount to his success, but the Aztec fans also have a special place in his heart.

Hemsley said he cherishes the opportunity to be able to positively influence a fanbase that has supported him all these years since arriving at the Mesa in 2015.

“(Fans are) why I play,” Hemsley said. “I want to inspire others. I want to put a smile on other people’s face. With the game I’m playing, hopefully, I can keep playing this game for a long time. That’s really what I want to do. The fans mean everything to me.”

Hemsley puts smiles on others’ faces but is also constantly having a smile on his face, even amidst intense competition.

Fellow senior guard Devin Watson said Hemsley competes hard but still manages to have fun while doing it.

“I’m proud of what Jeremy has done all year, guarding the best players,” Watson said. “He does it with a smile on his face and a chip on his shoulder.”


That’s been the theme of Hemsley’s senior year after a disappointing junior year when he was relegated to the bench.

Hemsley seems to have been taking in every moment of his senior year.

Head coach Brian Dutcher said Hemsley constantly brings good spirit on a daily basis.

“Jeremy brings such joy to practice and games,” Dutcher said before Senior Night against Fresno State. “Sometimes practice can be a drag, but he’s out there all the time with a smile on his face. He seems like he’s enjoying every minute of his senior year.”

Hemsley’s personality is reflective of the final message he gave to Aztec fans and beyond.

“I just tell everybody to keep being yourself,” he said. “Don’t try to be anybody else but you because being yourself takes you a long way. It’s me being myself, so I just tell everybody to be yourself and keep that smile on your face.”

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