By Alexa Ard
With a schedule that consists of practices, training sessions in the weight room, games, travelling and responsibilities outside of the court, time management was said to be the biggest key for some Nevada basketball players who are in season and in the closing stretch of the semester.
As shooting guard Danika Sharp headed on the road with her team Saturday to face Utah, her focus was split between the game and squeezing in some time to study for finals. She described it as a balancing act.
“I study on the road because we have a lot of things to do at this point of the semester,” Sharp said. “It’s basically like you have to study and focus on the game at the same time.”
This ability to study in various environments, from their room, to the plane, the bus, to a hotel lobby, was also noted by another women’s basketball player, freshman Iman Lathan.
However, when they return home, the main place where the basketball players, who are mostly enrolled in 12 credits, will study together is in Nevada’s study hall.
“Together, we really study in our academic center,” said Pack guard Michael Perez. “We go and have tutoring sessions individually, so that helps a lot.”
Lathan said she’s able to study anywhere and that juggling school and collegiate basketball, even with finals, hasn’t been a struggle.
“The transition has been smooth,” Lathan said. “It’s just like high school to me.”
However, some of the veterans of the basketball teams, such as Sharp and men’s basketball seniors Deonte Burton and Jerry Evans, Jr., admitted that it took some time to adapt to the busy schedule.
Burton said it took him a year to adjust and learn how much working ahead helped him. He also learned that he preferred to take online classes. With the constant travelling, he was able to easily access his coursework and even complete tests all online.
As a freshman, Evans said he used to just take it day by day, instead of starting things early to get “ahead of the game.”
“As a freshman, I didn’t know what to expect,” Evans said. “I was just going day by day. But as I got older, I just started planning ahead, and it’s helped me.”
He no longer waits until the last minute to get things done, which has made a big difference for him.
Sharp tries to get ahead of schedule especially before the Wolf Pack’s road games, but with the travelling has come times where things have to be rescheduled for classes. Sharp said she’s encountered a couple teachers who weren’t very open to accommodating to Nevada’s schedule. Yet, for the most part, they’ve respected the fact that travelling comes with the role of being a student-athlete.
“I’ve had really good teachers who understand how busy we are, and they’ll give me extra time if I need it,” said Nevada sophomore Terilyn Moe.
However, both Sharp and Moe admitted that at times it can be difficult to juggle finals while being in season.
“Sometimes it’s hard, but you just have to manage your time well,” Sharp said.
The game of basketball itself can be a juggling act with all that can happen in just one play. This could be a tool that players can translate to the classroom.
Basketball has been therapeutic for Lathan, even with having a lot on her plate. Her advice to those managing finals and other responsibilities, whether a student-athlete or not, “Relax and pray.”
Alexa Ard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.