Hauser parents detail watching their son in NCAA Tournament

Joey Hauser and Michigan State play in the Sweet 16 Thursday night
Joey Hauser, a SPASH grad, plays for Michigan State, his brother Sam is a Boston Celtic
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 4:31 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - Dave and Stephanie Hauser’s road trip to the NCAA Tournament began in the opposite direction of the actual games. On Wednesday, March 15, the pair departed from Stevens Point to Minneapolis. There, they watched their son Sam play for the Boston Celtics in a 104-102 win over the Timberwolves.

“The whole time we’re driving to Minneapolis, we’re saying, ‘We’re driving three and a half hours in the wrong direction right now,’ said Stephanie.

They trip west would only bring them back east as they then drove 12 hours through the night to Columbus, Ohio. They made it just in time for their son Joey’s open practice ahead of Michigan State’s first NCAA Tournament game the following day.

“With any family that has really active kids, whether it’s sports or other activities, it’s the life that you lead and you do it, because they love it,” said Stephanie.

Life on the road is nothing new to the Hausers. The long nights of travel go back to their first child, their daughter Nicki in her volleyball career. Now, it’s something they’re used to.

”We’ve just kind of become accustomed to if we can get there, let’s get there and get home early and then get tired the next day or two,” said Dave. “That’s just what you got to do.”

This trip has turned the long miles into smiles as Joey and the Spartans have made a run as a seven-seed to make the Sweet 16. Their first two wins even included a win over Joey’s former team Marquette.

”For Joey, truly, he was there one year. It was only his freshman year,” said Stephanie. “This was just another game to get to the sweet 16 and it was because of that. It was all about trying to beat a really, really good Big East champion to get into the Sweet 16.”

The run has even put the parents in the spotlight, having been highlighted on the game broadcast several times, something now the pair have become cognisant of.

“We said good things we have good friends that tell you not to chew your gum so much when you’re on camera,” said Stephanie. “We’ve learned not to eat during the basketball games because you don’t want to be eating a big bite of nachos when the cameras turn your way.”

Joey’s Spartans now find themselves in New York City to play in the Sweet 16 against Kansas State. Dave and Stephanie will be there once again, as will Sam and Nicki. Throughout the whole process, the family has remained in constant communication.

“Everybody’s watching if they can’t be there and that parts fun because they’re constantly checking in all the time,” said Dave.

Dave and Stephanie will take to the road once again following Thursday’s game in New York. They’ll head to Boston to watch Sam and the Celtics face the Pacers. If the Spartans win Thursday, they’ll head back to New York for a potential Elite Eight matchup. Wins aside, the parents feel very fortunate to be able to experience this with their kids.

“We are very blessed to be in the position that we’re in,” said Stephanie. “It is about the journey, more than the outcome, and don’t forget to just enjoy the journey. This is the child’s journey. It’s not your personal journey, but it sure is fun to be along for the ride.”