Monday, July 31, 2017

Role Model Athlete

There are many athletes who never passed high school or dropped out of college to become professionals in their sport. These include cricket, soccer, basketball, and tennis (among other sports).
 
In the USA, if someone wants to become a professional American football player or basketball player, he has to have four years of college attendance. In recent years, this rule has become less enforced.
 
Now how about a new twist to the story of the modern athlete.
 
Do you know of any professional athlete who has quit his/her athletic career to pursue their “other” interests? I know some athletes have done this at the tail end of their career. However, I’m talking about someone who is giving it all up and going in a completely different direction at the height of their career.
 
(Courtesy Yahoo: John Urschel)
 
John Urschel is a 26 year old professional American football player. He played for the Baltimore Ravens. After graduating from college, he was recruited by the Baltimore Ravens three years ago. His football salary is more than $600,000 per year.
 
John Urschel just announced his retirement from professional football a few days ago to pursue his “passion”. What is the passion for this “meathead” aka “dumb jock”?
 
Well it’s Mathematics of course.
 
OOOOPS! Sorry I meant to say braniac aka scholar athlete.
 
John has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mathematics. He is currently working on his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) studying spectral graph theory.
 
Getting the opportunity to play professional football in America is extremely difficult as the competition is so fierce. On the flip side, getting admitted to MIT to complete a Ph.D program is also highly prestigious.
 
John is an inspirational individual. Young people should look up to him as a role model instead of looking up to some other professional athletes. John uses his brain power to the fullest as well as his athletic abilities.
 
Just now, it comes to my mind what Arthur Ashe (winner of Wimbledon, Australian, and US Open tennis tournaments) once said about young black people.
 
Arthur Ashe, a black man himself, said (paraphrased):
 
It pains me to see many black kids want to become professional basketball players. That’s their ultimate goal. That’s the highest they can dream of. But no one ever thinks or dreams of wanting to own a team. You see if you own the team, then you have enough money to pay these professional basketball players…and then they work for you.

22 comments:

  1. Inspirational…but still has a ways to go.

    Professional basketball player…check!
    Champion in my sport…check!
    Hall of Fame player…check!
    Olympic Gold Medalist…check!
    College basketball player of the year…check!
    Princeton…check!
    Oxford…check!
    Excellent Politician…check! (is that an oxymoron?)
    And now making Starbucks one of the best and most recognized companies in the world…check!

    Regards,
    Bill Bradley

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    1. Thanks for your comments Bill. I am glad you took time to read my post. But one thing you could not achieve was to get the 2000 Democratic Presidential Nomination. Al Gore beat you hands down. Al got 85% of the delegates.

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  2. Whatever we do professionally might feel like "work". Including playing cricket/baseball. But this guy's story is a bit extreme. He could have played for a few more years (esp. at that pay point) and then pursued his passion? I am sure there would still be enough time :)

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. You are absolutely right if he were to come from a poor or a middle class family. He has seen money before. His dad is a popular surgeon and mother a successful lawyer.

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    2. I think the law of diminishing marginal returns is in play with his money.

      Says something about the man's character, because most of us would just keep going and keep raking the money in!

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  3. One thing stands out clearly in the case of JohnnUrschel is that he was not lured by the big money, had a rich contentment with what he accomplished in foot ball and wished to pursue his passion to study mathematics. An admirable man the like of whom is hard to come by.
    Thank you

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    1. Thanks for your comments Mr. KP. Yes, it is very hard to come by such admirable people. Bill Bradley (see his comment above) is one of them.

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  4. He seems to be a unique person! He already has got so many degrees from prestigious schools and he plays the game he loves with good pay! And now he wants to pursue his other passion, which might be boring for us! Great person!

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    1. Thanks for your comments Sandhya. His passion is mathematics. So he will never get bored.

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  5. Wow!! John Urschel is truly amazing and awe-inspiring. Both his careers would have been/will be spectacular!

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    1. Thanks for your comments Shilpa. I am sure he will be spectacular in his chosen field.

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  6. Kinda gives goals to always have multiple lines of career opportunities in vision and to always have a choice when needed.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Dee. You are absolutely correct.

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  7. PhD from MIT! wow and he is an athelete. That's so great. How does he manage his time? He is really inspiring for sure.
    -Avada Kedavra

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    1. Thanks for your comments Ash. To manage his time, he quit football and now fully concentrating in Math.

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  8. Replies
    1. Thanks for your comments Vineeta. Long time. No see. What happened?

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  9. Thank you SG for the comment on my blog. Last few months were hectic and tough as our house was under renovation, and sudden passing away of my mom. hoping to get back to my routine soon.thanks once again.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Chitra. Very sorry to hear about your Amma. Heartfelt condolences.

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    2. Sad to read about your mother. Hope she is in a better place, and that her love will live with you forever.

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  10. This guy is inspirational. Money is a big consideration in today's life. And it has to be an even bigger consideration in a big market society like America.

    Kudos to him for following his passion.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Karunesh. Yes, Kudos to John.

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