Junior Tracy Edmond is already on the way to achieving his biggest goals at The University of Olivet. Despite only joining the OC family last semester, the basketball player’s close relationships with teammates, coaches and professors have helped him Be More and Do Good. He transferred from a nearby community college with plans to take his time adjusting to student life, but feeling immediately welcomed on campus, Tracy realized he couldn’t sit on the bench during his college journey.
With the men’s basketball team pressing through one of its most successful seasons in years, Tracy hasn’t looked back. The team is currently tied with Hope College to lead the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The two teams have posted a 9-3 conference record, and face off on Feb. 14 at the Cutler Athletic Complex. Ticket sales being at 5:30 p.m. and the doors open at 6 p.m., followed by tip off at 7 p.m.
Tracy, who plays at guard, along with many of his teammates, are first-year Comets. They are not fueled by team skills built over multiple seasons, they do not come from similar backgrounds, and many only have one thing in common – their love of basketball.
“I’ve been playing basketball since I was 4-years-old,” Tracy reflected. “I come from a big basketball family and remember always loving the game, especially when I could spend time with my family or bond with my teammates over the love of the game. Our team this year has really been able to do that – we can find common ground and similarities because we are all passionate about basketball. Head coach Steve Ernst has been a great leader in helping us do that, we all can see he really wants the best for us.”
Tracy says strength and conditioning training has been a great bonding experience for the team. While the men might not always look forward to a tough workout, it’s a great opportunity for every teammate to show how dedicated he is to bettering himself, and therefore, bettering the entire team. This intensity has turned to success, and the team is keeping the momentum going. In fact, the men even ended a 13-game loss streak to Calvin College, defeating the Knights 79-71 on Jan. 24, and the team is focused on more victories and the ultimate goal of winning the conference championship.
“The team is determined to stay in shape, stay sharp and work hard in the gym,” Tracy said. “We really have a chance to do something special, and of course our goal is to win the conference. It’s hard work and intense, but it also is a lot of fun. The guys on the team like to joke with each other a lot, and we’ve learned how to connect with people with different personalities, too.”
Tracy is having just as much success scoring in the classroom, having discovered OC’s award-winning insurance and risk management (IRM) program. Tracy always enjoyed math and is focusing his major around actuary studies. After graduation, Tracy plans to seize opportunities to travel, even exploring the possibility of continuing to play basketball in European leagues or connecting with friends and family established in the insurance industry in Arizona.
Even though he’s not sure what his goals are right now, Tracy is confident he can achieve anything with the help of his OC support system. In addition to teammates and coaches, Tracy is looking forward to getting to know professors and classmates better. “It’s awesome to see that professors make sure you have the opportunity to succeed,” Tracy explained. “My writing and rhetoric professor Melody Schneider really sticks out to me. I struggle with writing, but she noticed I was willing to put in the work to succeed and stepped up to help me do that.”
Tracy said transferring to OC and finding his fit on the men’s basketball team and in the IRM program was the perfet play. For the next few weeks, his mind will only be on two things: coursework, acknowledging that academics come first in the life of a student-athlete, and keeping up the team’s momentum. After that, Tracy plans to strengthen his network and look for a summer internship.
“Olivet is a close community and I can tell everyone at OC really cares about each other. People are kind and say hello even when just passing on the street. It’s a great environment to learn in and there are lots of opportunities for basketball players to be a part of a great team at OC, so I really encourage other students to consider applying or transferring like me,” Tracy said.
Learn more about The University of Olivet by visiting campus, and be sure to request to meet with coaches to get the inside scoop on becoming a Comet basketball player. Contact the Office of Admissions at email@example.com or 800.456.7189 for questions.