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NCAA names AASP Career Development Award recipients

New grant recognizes student-athletes who plan to pursue careers in athletics

To support their career aspirations once they graduate from lower-resourced schools, the NCAA Accelerating Academic Success Program selected two student-athletes this week as the first recipients of the AASP Career Development Award.

Gritt Broening of Fairleigh Dickinson and Samson Oyediran of Tennessee State will receive the grant, the first of its kind for students who attend Accelerating Academic Success Program-eligible schools and plan to pursue careers in athletics. Broening and Oyediran will have their travel costs paid to attend two NCAA developmental events — the Career in Sports Forum on June 1-4 in Indianapolis and the AASP Conference on July 27-28 in New Orleans.

AASP assists select Division I schools in developing programs and systems designed to increase graduation rates and ensure academic success. Broening and Oyediran were chosen by an AASP committee composed of NCAA staff and membership.

“The idea of the Career Development Award came from thinking about ways to extend AASP to promote academic excellence while also having a direct impact on student-athletes’ lives after sport,” said Tiese Roxbury, NCAA assistant director of research, assessment and academic success. “We want student-athletes to begin developing their career identities earlier by devoting time and effort into finding fulfilling career paths that align with their skills and interests. We hope this award is a catalyst for that process.”  

Broening, a junior on the Fairleigh Dickinson women’s soccer team, has a 3.89 GPA in sports administration. She grew up in Seeheim-Jugenheim, Germany, and plans a career in college athletics.

In 2011, Broening volunteered in Tanzania for four weeks and helped build a water tank, install solar panels and educate village teachers with new teaching techniques. She has a goal of bringing soccer to underdeveloped nations in Africa and believes American colleges and universities could be a partner in accomplishing that goal.

Oyediran, a redshirt sophomore on the Tennessee State men’s basketball team, has a 3.90 GPA in health science. He hopes to one day work in the sports science field in bioengineering.

Oyediran, who grew up in London, England, has a strong interest in human body mechanics and plans to work in a field helping to advance limb replacement. He hopes to operate his own health research center to work with others to produce schedules and training programs for rehabilitation.