Summer 2015

Swept Off His Feet

Magic Johnson had just led Michigan State University to a national championship when Hollis arrived as a freshman and, like many eager students, asked coach Jud Heathcote if he could be a team manager. Heathcote treated him like the others. He shut the door. But Hollis came back – six more times, in fact – until Heathcote presented a life-changing offer.

Seniors’ Prom

Thanks to 25 college athletes at Rogers State University, residents of an area assisted-living center relived a special moment: prom night. The Hillcats Student-Athlete Advisory Committee hosted a senior prom, complete with a prom king and queen, for residents at The Brookfield, an assisted-living center in Claremore, Oklahoma.

Food for Thought

Last year, when the NCAA relaxed the regulations schools must follow to feed their college athletes, sports dietitians took on a whole new level of importance. Now, their numbers are growing even faster on campuses – and so is their influence.

Getting in the game

Year after year, more students than ever before are participating in NCAA athletics. The climb to more than 472,000 college athletes has been sure and steady, with 12-percent growth occurring during the most recent six-year period.

Back to the Bases

It was the final play in the third game of the season for the New York University baseball team. Coach Doug Kimbler saw the pitch, the pop-up, the ball landing in his shortstop’s mitt. Then, with the game won, Kimbler watched the shortstop roll the ball over the mound before leaving the field, as he would for any other game. Except this wasn’t just any other game. Kimbler knew that ball marked history.

"I’m definitely not a perfect person."

Anna Kottkamp would prefer not to be labeled a perfect example of a student-athlete, even if she is the first from the University of Notre Dame to be named valedictorian of a graduating class. But her successes are certainly an example to uphold. Kottkamp walked on to the rowing team as a freshman with no experience, yet finished with a full scholarship.

"The adjustment wasn’t too hard."

Maria Hauer, who was born deaf but can now hear at a 60-80 percent level after seven surgeries, competed for the Huskies’ cross country team in the fall, the Nordic ski team in the winter and ran the 800-meter and the 1,600-meter relay for the track team in the spring. She also dabbles in music, playing the violin, piano, baritone, trombone and the clarinet.

"People are starting to not see me as a little brother."

Both of Darik Dillard’s older siblings earned valedictorian honors in high school, but Dillard is proving he is a formidable player and scholar in his own right. He ranked third in his high school class of 557 and is now studying mechanical engineering at Rice, where he scored 16 touchdowns in his first two seasons with the Owls.

Smoke Screen

Mike Devlin’s path from athlete to addict started with an injury and prescription painkillers, continued with years of deception and nearly cost him his life. How did things turn so dark so quickly? It’s a question every coach, parent and athlete should ask.

A Mound of Cure

A cancer diagnosis. More than three years of chemotherapy. Two hip replacements. Through it all, Richie Suarez just wanted a chance to play college baseball. But he picked up something unexpected along the way.

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