By Kristen Davis
Athletic Communications Student Assistant
ROCHESTER, Mich. - Redshirt senior Chase Jabbori has excelled on the field in his last season as a Golden Grizzly. The midfielder, who transferred to Oakland after his freshman year at Akron, is currently first on the team in total goals this season with five, and he's looking to lead Oakland to its third straight Horizon League championship. Jabbori was named Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 10-16 after scoring both goals in Oakland's 2-1 win at Milwaukee (Oct. 15), snapping the Panthers' five-game unbeaten streak.
Jabbori sat down with GoldenGrizzlies.com to answer 21 questions about his life, both on and off the field.
GG: When and why did you start playing soccer?
CJ: I was like four years old. My parents just signed me up and I loved the sport. I think they could see that I just had a huge passion for it so I just kept playing.
GG: If you could play any other sport at this level besides soccer, what would it be?
CJ: Basketball. I love playing it, I'm just not very tall.
GG: What is something that most people don't know about you?
CJ: I love to read books. I really like the Harry Potter series, but I'll read pretty much anything. At my house, I have over 100 books.
GG: Do you have any pre-game rituals?
CJ: I always wear the same undergarments and I always put my right foot on the field first. It started in high school. I just did it once and I played really well, so now I just do it every time. I also always tie my right shoe before my left shoe.
GG: Knowing what you know now as a fifth-year senior, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
CJ: It's going to be hard and frustrating because at first, you're not going to play. You're going to put in a lot of work but just keep grinding and digging through and you'll get there.
GG: What are you post-graduation plans?
CJ: I'm going to apply for med school, and hopefully I'll take a year off next year and get more experience with shadowing doctors.
GG: What's your dream job?
CJ: Dermatologist. I had bad skin as a kid, and dermatologists kind of changed my life for the better. It gave me a confidence boost when my skin got better and I'd like to do that for other people.
GG: Do you have a favorite professor at Oakland?
CJ: Terry Dibble, just because I actually look forward to going to his classes. He's just so happy all the time and he puts you in a good mood. One class I took with him was laughter, and I'm sure everyone loved that class.
GG: What's your favorite place to eat on campus?
CJ: Einstein's in the engineering center.
GG: Has anyone in your family ever played sports professionally?
CJ: Yes, my grandpa played soccer for the Iraq national team.
GG: Who is your role model?
CJ: My dad. He's just done so much for me and my family growing up and he's been the perfect role model. I'm so blessed to have him, both my parents to be honest are my role models.
GG: What is your favorite memory from your time at Oakland?
CJ: My favorite memory would be winning the Horizon League tournament for the first time at home. It was an awesome feeling. Everyone celebrated on the field after, celebrating with the team in the locker room, going crazy in the showers. It was just great to get that first one.
GG: What motto do you try to live by every day?
CJ: Just keep grinding. Life can get repetitive with practice and school every day, and sometimes people don't give everything 100% and I think that's where they falter. I just wake up every day and tell myself keep going at it.
GG: If you could spend one day with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
CJ: Lionel Messi, just to see what life is to be the best soccer player in the world, learn from him and maybe train with him.
GG: What is something outside of athletic accomplishments that you're proud of?
CJ: I'm proud of the fact that I'm a quarter Cuban, a quarter Spanish and half Chaldean.
GG: Do you have any nicknames?
CJ: Some of the guys on the team call me Jabs, like short for Jabbori, or they'll call me Chaz, like Chase without the "e."
GG: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
CJ: Spain. My mother was born there and she's always told me stories about it. I'm actually going this summer.
GG: Who's your favorite athlete of all time?
CJ: Thierry Henry. He played for Arsenal and France and he retired a few years ago. Just growing up watching him play, it was amazing. He's so athletic, but combine technique and skill with that, and he was unstoppable. Basically, that's why I'm an Arsenal fan. The style he played was beautiful to watch.
GG: What past or current teammate do you feel you've learned the most from?
CJ: Joey Tinnion. He's always helped me get confidence if I was playing bad or he'd try to teach me little things here and there on how I could improve my game, which is funny because we didn't even necessarily play the same position, he was just always trying to help me. We grew up together, we've played together since we were like 12.
GG: What is your funniest road memory?
CJ: We made all the freshman sing on the bus, and it was like the third day of preseason. They all had to choose a song and sing. We did it this year and last year too, and it was funny because some of them were just horrendous. And then at the Horizon League tournament at UIC three years ago, everyone had playoff beards but then everyone shaved everything and left the mustaches, including the coaches, and that was kind of funny because everyone looked ridiculous.
GG: What is your life going to be without soccer?
CJ: It's going to be very weird. Soccer's basically been my life for forever and I'm already scared thinking about it because I've always had it in my life. I've had practice every day or a game, or something to look forward to. It's going to be really different for me without that there.