Student Places Chemistry Above the Hoop
    By Enrico Uva | December 3rd 2012 09:10 PM | 1 comment | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Enrico

    I majored in chemistry, worked briefly in the food industry and at Fisheries and Oceans. I then obtained a degree in education. Since then I have...

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    It was one of those School Hall of Fame moments that I could not have staged any better. 
    We have an unusual Wednesday schedule where students start later, and each class is shortened by 15 minutes. But if a test or lab lands on last period that day, I encourage kids to stay after the bell.  Last week, one of my seniors, Naomi, who plays on the school basketball team, was one of several who chose to stay longer to double check her chemistry test. Suddenly, one of her teammates barged into our classroom in full uniform and sternly said, "We have a game. You gotta come."

    Before my student reacted, I knew exactly what was going to happen. With her winsome smile, she moved her head from side to side. 

    Now that she had made her choice, I said to her teammate with my own smile, "Come on. Of course, she's going to choose chemistry over basketball!" My class laughed, and the girl in running shoes walked away, probably thinking of throwing darts at my picture, if I was lucky. 

    Ten minutes later, when my student finished her test, I asked her, "You will go join your teammates now?

    "Of course", she assured me.

    For most home games, Louisville charges $35 a ticket, a higher average price than seven NBA teams! Many college basketball coaches earn more than their NBA counterparts. And then there was that infamous Penn State scandal last year, all of which indicate that the importance of sports in college has grown way out of proportion to academics and other important values.

    It's reassuring to see that a non-nerdy and athletic adolescent is better than many college administrators at setting her priorities straight.



    I was wondering if you were aware of fellow Canadian, Andrew Nicholson, now in the NBA. He was originally a chemistry major at St. Bonaventure but switched to physics because it was less demanding. Fans dubbed him "The Professor." I remember reading that it was the first time that the coach had to make lab facilities a big part of the recruiting pitch.

    So there are still some true student athletes out there.