Today, the words “student-athlete” have more emphasis on the athlete.
Universities have special interests in their athletes because of sports gaining prominence in our society and culture. Often times it is sports that drive a potential applicant’s desire to attend any particular school. Sports offer universities visual representation in a way that academics can’t because no one wants to watch the debate team or a school’s honor ceremony.
As intellectually stimulating as these things may be, sports appeal to one’s want of instant gratification (except baseball).
While it rare to see an actual student-athlete, especially in big programs, they do exist.
Bradley’s senior guard Walt Lemon, Jr. has been a living example of the classic definition of student-hooper since he arrived in Peoria, Ill. This year, he won the Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award and was named to the All-Scholar Team in three consecutive seasons.
Although Bradley is a program known for its academics, it isn’t known for producing great basketball talents. Lemon, Jr. is an exception as he is as lethal on the court as he is in the classroom. The senior averaged a team-high 15. 6 point per game and also led the team in assists at nearly four per game.
Most people associate scholars with frailness and lack of physicality, but Lemon was named to the MVC All-Defense Team—twice. He plays defense with a chip on his shoulder and as a Chicagoan he isn’t a soft scholar.
Lemon is a model athlete and student. He embodies everything that we want from our young people: excellence, dedication and perseverance. He may not become a Hall of Fame basketball player, but I have no doubt he will excel as a citizen of Earth.