’07 Bump and Nards

Stephen Buszka

Tandems of guards and big men have complemented and enhanced each other’s talent and style of play, and Villanova’s duo is no different.

Well, maybe a little.

Fans may see Mike Nardi and Will Sheridan congratulating each other after a successful play and joking during a timeout, but the relationship between these two seniors does not stop there.

In fact, it began around eight years ago when the two first crossed paths in AAU leagues.

“We didn’t necessarily know each other, but we definitely were fierce competitors,” Sheridan said.

In their senior year in high school, they were reunited.

Nardi, who played for St. Patrick’s High School in Elizabeth, N.J. was selected to play on an all-star team at the Charm City Classic in Baltimore, Md.

Sheridan, who was on his way to becoming Delaware Player of the Year, was selected to the same all-star team.

The two happened to room together and from there, began to form a closer bond.

The budding friendship took another step forward when both Nardi and Sheridan decided to come to Villanova as the only two scholarship players of the class of 2007.

“Me and him were just together freshman year,” Nardi said. “It was me and him battling and getting through practices and talking to each other in the room.”

Back in the fall semester of 2003, the two freshman members of the basketball team again found themselves rooming together. Like most roommates, Sheridan and Nardi were forced to adjust quickly to each other’s differences.

While Sheridan is an extrovert who rarely hesitates to share his opinion or get involved with campus events and organizations, the quieter Nardi prefers to spend his free time in the gym shooting around and perfecting his footwork and ball-handling skills.

In spite of their differences, they still share a unique brotherly bond.

“We want to see each other do well,” Nardi said. “We want to help each other out, whether it’s on or off the court. It’s just that brotherhood. We have each other’s back in everything we do.”

The two even have an unofficial nickname, although it is sparingly used.

“We do say ’07,” Nardi said. “That’s one thing that me and him have always said, whether it’s before the game in the layup line or in practice or when someone makes a shot or makes a stop. It’s ’07.”

The ’07 duo spends a lot of time hanging out off the court, as well. Their social activities are typical of many friendships.

They spend time going out to eat, watching movies, bowling and partying. When they aren’t going out, they are also content with just chilling in their rooms, making jokes, laughing and watching TV.

Aside from their love for the game of basketball, the two seniors also share a love of music, particularly hip-hop, rap and R&B.

Jay-Z is one of their favorite artists.

Although teammates often form close friendships, Head Coach Jay Wright is especially complimentary of the dynamic between Nardi and Sheridan.

“Nardi and Sheridan have been roommates the whole time,” Wright said. “They have had a great bond and are really special guys. They’re great students, hard workers and they both come from great families. We’re blessed to have them at the whole University, not just on the court. They are involved. They are everything we want in the Villanova basketball program.”

Their friendship is something that has benefited the pair on the court. In addition to developing a great chemistry, they both embrace their roles as this year’s leaders and have even proposed ideas to Wright.

“They come to me with plays to run just for the two of them,” Wright said.

Although it is their final year together as teammates, by no means does it mark the end of their friendship.

Unlike many other graduating students who will say their last goodbyes to the people they’ve met over the course of four years, “Nards” and “Bump” certainly won’t let that happen.

As Nardi says matter-of-factly, the ’07 duo plans to remain close forever.