From 2003 to 2007, Errek Suhr was perhaps the most popular player on the IU men’s basketball team. Even though he was not a starter and his statistics were hardly eye-popping, the home-grown, 5’ 8” guard won over fans with his hustle, hard-nosed defense, and accurate shooting.

Suhr is now a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Bloomington, having studied for and passed the qualifying Series 66 and Series 7 exams. For his job, he says, he draws on the same reserve of determination that enabled him to compete successfully with bigger, stronger, more athletic players. “When I look back at my playing days, I realize how much hard work pays off,” says Suhr, 28, now married (to nurse Rebekah) with two daughters (Addyson, 3, and Hayden, 11 months).

Although Suhr had opportunities to coach at the college level after graduating from IU with a degree in education, he chose to become a financial advisor, which he says he finds just as satisfying as competing on the basketball court. “My career now is a lot like basketball. It’s being part of a team, working hard every day, and sweating the details.”

Like many former athletes, Suhr is still competitive. But aside from the occasional pickup game at the YMCA, he gets his athletic fix on the golf course instead of the hard court where, he says, he took enough of a beating. (He can’t recall ever encountering an opposition player smaller than himself.)

Suhr follows college basketball closely and takes in the occasional game at Assembly Hall, but for the most part he’s content to watch the Hoosiers on TV with friends and family. And despite the team’s early departure from the NCAA tournament this year, he’s delighted with the program’s progress.

“I’m thrilled with the team and very proud of how far they’ve come over the past five years,” he says. “I love how even though the guys are so talented, they absolutely busted their tails on the court.”

Alongside his love of IU basketball, Suhr says that what’s kept him in Bloomington are the town’s many charms and high quality of life. “My wife and I were both born and raised in Bloomington—it’s where our families and friends are—so of course we love being here,” he says. “There have been some opportunities to leave, but there’s really no other place we’d rather be.”