Last week, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) celebrated Division III Week, highlighting and honoring student athletes across the country who participate in collegiate sports at the DIII level. In celebration, members of the MSMC Knights shared their thoughts about why they enjoy being part of a Division III team here at the Mount:
Diamond Umunna (Freshman, Women’s Cross Country)
“Being a DIII athlete is the best way to enjoy college. You have a social life, people on campus look up to you, you get to meet and participate with other non-athletes, and you still have the opportunity to play the sport you love at a high level. Moreover, you graduate with a good degree and you’re extra-ready for the real world – crazy schedules, commitment, competition. So if you’re thinking about what collegiate level to choose, don’t look past DIII just because it doesn’t have the same athletic hype and moreover the money. College is a full experience, and if you want that experience and still want to play sports, then DIII is right for you.” Read more of Diamond’s story here.
Chris McGorty (Sophomore, Men’s Tennis)
“Playing Division III tennis has made a good balance between my social and academic lifestyles. What I mean by this is I don’t focus my mind on ‘Tennis this, tennis that, tennis comes before everything;’ rather I look to do well in the classroom first before I go to practices and games… The NCAA has established ‘the three Ds,’ which student-athletes should all experience: Discover, Develop, and Dedicate. I have discovered why I like to play tennis as well being able to share my love for the game with my teammates. Over the past year and a half I have developed a strong bond with my teammates and have had the experience of doing community service with them to strengthen that bond and to help out those who need it the most. I have dedicated myself to work hard in the classroom and play hard on the court no matter what.” Read more of Chris’s story here.
Alberto Gilman (Sophomore, Men’s Swimming)
“Playing a Division III sport, I had to discover my potential within my new sport and its challenges, develop my technique and new schedule, and ultimately maintain dedication to my education and sport. A division might be higher than the other, but what is the same at every school is the emphasis on athletes excelling in their sport and in the classroom. Though my school may be Division III, if I enjoy my sport, have a great time with my teammates and coaches, and excel in the classroom and on campus, then I do not see any difficulties…” Read more of Alberto’s story here.
Janae Graham (Junior, Women’s Basketball)
“I personally think the purest love of a sport is found at the Division III level. Here, we play mainly because we love the sport so much, and what we get out of it is so valuable. We get the joy of continuing to play the sport that our younger selves grew up loving, the pride in ourselves to have made it to the next level, memories to last a life time, and a whole bunch of life skills. I have learned how to manage my time, how to communicate effectively, how to be a leader, and how to work through adversity. These skills I am going to take with me long after college basketball ends. I wouldn’t change my time as a Division III athlete for anything in the world.” Read more of Janae’s story here.
Blake Keenan (Junior, Men’s Baseball)
“I believe that playing Division III athletics is one of the toughest decisions a person can make. By committing to a college level sport you are sacrificing a lot of your free time and giving up many different opportunities for the sake of the team. Everything at the Division III level is for the love of the game. None of the players are on scholarship and most aren’t expecting to play past the college level competitively, but everyone shares the same passion and respect for their sport. To put in the amount of time required to succeed in college athletics with almost no physical reward, you have to love what you are doing.” Read more of Blake’s story here.
Allison Sciucco (Senior, Women’s Swimming)
“As a high school senior, I was not interested in participating in college athletics, specifically swimming. I had gone on college tours at DI, DII, and DIII schools and was confident in the college I was planning to choose. One day, however, I received a recruiting letter from Mount Saint Mary College’s swim coach. Still, I was not interested. I was tired of visiting schools and going on tours. However, Mount Saint Mary College is so close to home for me (only 30 minutes), that my father encouraged me to give it a chance. With one visit to the college, the campus, and the team and facilities, I was hooked. At that moment, that day, I knew Mount Saint Mary College and its athletic program was the perfect fit for me.” Read more of Allison’s story here.
Mount Saint Mary College offers 21 Division III sports teams that consistently appear in the Skyline Conference. Our student athletes are also regulars on the Skyline Honor Roll and participate in community service each season through the Knights in the Community initiative. Learn more at www.msmcknights.com