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Basketball, math, violin: Belmont center a triple threat

'As important as basketball is, school definitely comes first'

Belmont University center Tyler Hadden (41) celebrates with teammates after a made basket against TCU. Photo: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

In basketball, a player in triple-threat position is ready to shoot, pass or dribble.

But Belmont senior center Tyler Hadden offers three threats of a different sort. Besides playing college basketball, he is a math major with an eye on becoming an actuary and also plays the violin.

“As important as basketball is, school definitely comes first,” Hadden says, noting that Belmont coach Rick Byrd “puts an emphasis on the student part, and that’s why I came here.”

While math has always been Hadden’s favorite subject, he has never been good at explaining it to others, ruling out teaching as a career path. A high school instructor suggested he become an actuary.

These days, the violin is more of a hobby, though he has been playing since third grade. He did perform in front of the athletics department as part of a talent show to support the Special Olympics. And when he plays at a local church in Nashville, Tennessee, teammates come out to support him.

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Champion magazine goes behind the headlines and beyond the scoreboards to celebrate the unique connection between Americans and college sports. Champion is published by the NCAA.

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