Lessons extend beyond playing field

Drake creates a progressive model for intercollegiate sport in higher education.

When Josh Young, BN’10, graduated from Drake, he took with him more than his status as the University’s career leading scorer and offers to play pro basketball overseas. Rather, he left with valuable leadership skills and an understanding of the importance of giving back to the community.

“The Athletics staff takes a holistic view of developing young men and women as students and leaders,” Young says. “Drake teaches young people to excel on the court and also in life.”

More Than a Game

Young’s experience mirrors that of many other student-athletes at Drake, and that’s just what Sandy Hatfield Clubb, Drake athletic director, wants.

Hatfield Clubb, together with President David Maxwell, has been guiding Drake Athletics’ strategic plan, which calls for the University to provide leadership-based experiences for student-athletes and create a progressive model for intercollegiate sport in higher education.

Drake has approved a concentration in leadership that takes campus involvements, like sports, and uses them as starting points for learning in the classroom.

“By taking these lessons learned on the court — analytical and critical thinking, leadership and teamwork — into the boardroom, athletes take an instinctive skill set and translate it into the real world,” says Hatfield Clubb.

A Holistic Approach

Drake also offers a variety of opportunities for student-athletes to give back, which include leading middle school sports clinics and delivering meals to the homeless. And now the University is taking global opportunities such as the men’s football trip to Tanzania, Africa, next May. While there the Bulldogs will play an all-star team from Mexico in the inaugural Global Kilimanjaro Bowl, the first American collegiate football game ever played on the continent; lead service projects at an orphanage; and culminate the experience by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

We want our student-athletes to get a great education, but sport is a significant part of their lives,” Hatfield-Clubb says. “We want to align the whole [athletic] experience to become part of an exceptional learning environment.”

–Jill Brimeyer

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