Student athletes have an interesting balancing act to perform
Jadda Buckley, a starting guard on the women’s basketball team, is a marketing major from Mason City who hopes to work for an athletic team or company after graduation. She is one of many students who come to Iowa State University and learn the fast way how to balance a busy academic schedule, grueling team workouts, games that require traveling all over the country — all while adjusting to life away from home for the first time.
“For me, this all goes by so fast,” Buckley said. “We come back from winter break and the next thing I know its midterm and the season is almost over. It feels like I was just back home sitting on the couch with my mom for Christmas.”
Even though the combination of balancing school and basketball can feel like chaos at times, it’s a lifestyle choice.
“Some students might be overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of getting on two planes in one week,one to West Virginia and then flying back to Ames to then fly to Texas two days later, but for me it’s a passion. It’s normal. We do we miss classes and spend road time catching up on studying and homework, of course, but the resources we are given and the communication and relationship we build with professors help ease the hustle and bustle of the basketball season.”
Being part of a Big 12 team is an honor that comes with responsibilities, especially since student athletes are often recognized on campus and in the community. Even though members of the men’s basketball team may be recognized more easily, Buckley said, she understands students may recognize her as well.
“I don’t see it as a bad thing whatsoever,” she said. “When I think about fellow Iowa State peers recognizing me or my other teammates on campus I instantly feel happy. It means they have some knowledge of the women’s or men’s basketball program. When people know you as a member of a team, it makes you feel supported. It makes me want to play harder, work more, and not disappoint anyone, whether that’s the student fans, professor fans, or alumni fans. I take it all in as a very positive light.”
As she nears the end of her junior year, Buckley looks forward to combining her love of sports and marketing after she graduates.
“I could see myself working for a professional athletic team in a marketing role. I do believe my experience as a college athlete and a business degree in marketing will help me significantly,” she said.“Having someone who knows both side sports and marketing can only make the marketing more successful.”