It was his senior season, one during which he believed his team had the chance to make it to the NCAA Tournament. But for UConn basketball's Christian Vital, when life for all of us came to a halt, so did that dream of reaching the Big Dance.
The NCAA, like the rest of the sports world, was forced to cancel the rest of its season. So March Madness couldn't take place, and looking back at things now two months later, Vital explained how he felt when he found out his college career was ending abruptly.
"It was just crazy and the first couple weeks I was pissed off -- I won't even lie to you guys," he told the media on Tuesday. "The morning of March 12, I wake up and I'm thinking I have a game that day so I do my routine the night before, do my routine in the morning and I'm thinking we're going to play."
But it was the exact opposite of a game. Instead, Vital watched the news as it was announced that his friend, Jazz PG Donovan Mitchell, had coronavirus. That's when it sunk in for the Queens native: No more basketball.
"Once I saw the NBA season ended, I knew it was a wrap," he said.
"If LeBron and everyone isn't going to be playing basketball, Christian isn't going to be playing basketball."
But it's a shame the Huskies had to have their season cut short just before the AAC Tournament kicked off. Vital was confident his team was riding high heading into the tournament, and though head coach Dan Hurley couldn't say so on camera, he knew from the coaches down that the tournament was theirs to lose.
"I think if you ask anyone at UConn Nation how they felt going into that tournament, you know they were going to say pretty good," Vital said. "I believe everyone in our locker room and our coaching staff, we felt the same way.
"As me being the leader of the team, we were winning that championship."
Vital was having the best year of his career with 16.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.5 steals per game. Now he'll hope to get a shot in the 2020 NBA Draft, something he tested back in 2018 before eventually returning to UConn for his junior season.