Being a college student athlete requires dedication, time management skills, and self-discipline.
For SUNY Corning Community College athlete Christian Simmons ’19, it’s all worth it to play basketball, even if it means studying for an upcoming test on a dark bus after a road game.
“Being a student athlete is hard, but we have really good academic support services at the Learning Commons,” said Christian. “I’m in there a lot and it pays off. It’s made me a more confident student and person.”
As a business administration major, Christian’s days are filled with accounting, marketing, and statistics. But when he needed help with an essay, he formed a bond with Coordinator of Developmental English, Beth Bentley.
“I started to go see [Beth] during her office hours and she sat me down and explained different approaches to my writing, and showed me what I could do better,” said the Rochester, N.Y. native. “She took time out of her day to help me and that’s how a lot of people are here at Corning.”
Beth was impressed with Christian’s tenacity to seek help when he wasn’t reaching his goal grade.
“Christian wasn’t satisfied with merely passing, so he used academic coaching resources to reach greater excellence,” said Beth. “He shows a winning combination of inner drive and openness to feedback.”
Though he plans to transfer to a Division I or Division II school with the goal of playing professional basketball overseas, Christian also has a plan B.
“If basketball isn’t working out a few years from now I want to be a state trooper,” said Christian. “I’ve always been interested in law enforcement, and being able to work with different people.”
Some of that interest is courtesy of Christian’s cousin, Mark Simmons, who is the Rochester Chief of Police.
“I’ve seen first-hand how rewarding of a career being a police officer can be, especially when you’re able to help people every day,” said Christian. “It would make me feel good to have a positive impact on others.”
For now, Christian is beginning to take his basketball recruiting visits. Two of his upcoming visits are at Iona College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass), both Division I schools.