Chris Hidaka is another offensive staple for Illinois, and transitioned from reading a baseball as an outfield to reading discs. #27 attributes to much of his success and motivation to former player Walden Nelson.
How were you introduced into Ultimate?
I was introduced my junior year of high school playing incredibly unorganized pickup. I came to the University of Illinois as a novice looking to have fun and learn the intricacies of the game.
What was your sports background and how did the skills you picked up there translate into Ultimate?
I played baseball at the varsity level in high school. While sprinting 90 feet at a time followed by periods of rest does not really translate to ultimate, I feel that playing outfield helped me hone my reading skills, but there are big differences between how a baseball flies off a bat and how a disc flies.
What has your career at Illinois been like?
My career at Illinois has seen its ups and downs but making it to nationals for a fourth straight year is definitely an accomplishment I will never forget. Walden Nelson, our captain and Callahan nominee last year, has definitely been an inspirational character in not only mine but every player’s career in this program. He pushes us to be better in every aspect of the game.
What do you do outside of Ultimate?
I am currently working on a Masters in Education, but there is rarely a life outside of Ultimate.
What do you plan on doing with ultimate after college?
I hope to play at the club level once time and expenses allow it.