« Men’s Basketball 2016-17

Willie Conner


University at Buffalo



Willie Conner has continued to be an influence in the classroom for Buffalo, maintaining a GPA over 3.0. He is a sociology major and hopes to return to his hometown of Chicago following his basketball career to use his degree to help young kids. Conner has made a conscious effort to learn about the criminal justice system and hopes to talk with at-risk youth in the inner city of Chicago.


Conner continues to be one of the leaders on the men’s basketball team with his actions both on and off the court. Having moved from junior college to a four-year university prior to last season, he has continued to show his teammates that if you work hard enough, any goal can be achieved. He sets a prime example for the younger players regarding how to work hard on the court and in the classroom, and the coaching staff can rely on him to make sure the team does the right things.


Conner is very active in the community and sets an example for what all of the student-athletes at Buffalo. Most recently, Conner has become a team spokesman for Buffalo’s new relationship with Team IMPACT, which is a non-profit organization that helps children forget about their illness and become part of something bigger: a team of friends.  Through Team IMPACT, Conner has become a friend and a mentor to Darrion Booze, a young man who is suffering from end-stage renal disease. Conner also has taken part in events such as the Linda Yalem Charity Run and Take Back the Night, both events that raise awareness for sexual violence.


Conner is an outstanding competitor on the floor, and while he competes hard, he also shows a high level of sportsmanship. In his first season at UB, he was named to the MAC All-Defensive Team and earned MAC Tournament Most Valuable Player honors after leading the Bulls to a conference tournament title and a bid into the NCAA Tournament. Conner had a career-high 28 points against Ohio last year and had a career-best six three pointers in the MAC Tournament Quarterfinals against Miami (OH). This season he is expected to continue being one of the top players on the court for Buffalo and to set an example regarding it means to be a complete student-athlete.