« Men’s Basketball 2018-19

Ethan Happ

University of Wisconsin
Grad school: Educ. Leadership & Policy Analysis


Ethan Happ graduated in four years with a bachelor’s degree in life science communications and environmental sociology in May 2018 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy analysis. He posted his highest term grade-point averages during the 2017-18 school year, recording a 3.38 GPA in the fall and making the dean’s list in the spring of 2018 with a 3.92.


A two-time captain at Wisconsin, Happ assumed a leadership role last season when he was the only returning starter on a team full of underclassmen. Known for his tireless work ethic, Happ has a reputation for being the last one in the gym after every practice. He has made a habit of integrating younger players into his off-day and extra workouts, passing along the tireless drive that he learned from players before him.

“Ethan has had a profound impact on Wisconsin basketball,” Head Coach Greg Gard said. “If you stripped away all of his basketball accomplishments – and there are many – he would still be looked at as one of the most valuable pieces of our team. He leads by his example, demonstrating that every day through work ethic and dedication. On the court, he sets a positive example for his teammates, and off the court he represents everything you’d want in a student-athlete.”


Each season, Happ is consistently among the team leaders in community service hours as part of the Badgers Give Back community outreach program. Last season, Happ created and developed a program that was affectionately known as the “Ethan Shoe Project.” For all 18 home games, Happ would invite at-risk or disabled children from the Madison area to attend the game and visit with him on the court afterward. He also would present them with a signed pair of his game-worn basketball shoes as a memento of their experience. Happ is continuing the program for the 2018-19 and expanding to include teammates and selected Wisconsin road games as well.

Among the many events that Happ has volunteered time with include Caleb’s Pitch, visits to the American Family Children’s Hospital, Hospice visits, basketball camps for youth, kids’ fairs, Make-A-Wish, classroom visits to area elementary schools, Walk It Out for Wishes (fundraiser for the Make A Wish Foundation), Habitat for Humanity and Wish Upon a Badgers in which Happ helped host a patient from the American Family Children’s Hospital to give them a behind-the-scenes look at Badger athletics.


Already one of the most-accomplished players in school history, Happ returns for his senior season at Wisconsin looking to cement his status as one of the Big Ten’s all-time greats. A two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection (2018, 2017), two-time Big Ten All-Defensive Team pick (2017, 2016) and AP third-team All-American in 2017, Happ enters the 2018-19 season with a chance to finish his career ranked in UW’s top three of nearly every category. Last season, Happ became the first Big Ten player to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals since 1995-96. With 459 points and 125 rebounds, Happ would become just the fourth player in Big Ten history to reach 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for his career.

Other honors Happ has received include the following: 2017 second-team All-American (SI), 2017 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (AP), 2016 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, 2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Finalist and more.