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Training for the future

MONTINE RUMMEL/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Physiology junior and student trainer Lacee Diamond wraps the foot of an injured athlete after practice. This is Diamond's third year as a student trainer.
By Blair Lazarus
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday October 10, 2003

Junior training technician helps heal UA athletes

For as long as she can remember, Lacee Diamond has been a Wildcat sports fan.

But four years ago, when she was at a dinner put on by the San Francisco area alumni association, the BayCats, she got an opportunity to get closer to the athletes than most fans ever get.

When Diamond was seated next to then-men's basketball team members Loren Woods and Ricky Anderson at the dinner, she had no clue as to the opportunity that was about to present itself.

Diamond's mother, an active BayCats member, asked Woods that night about openings for female student trainers at the University of Arizona. Woods then introduced Diamond and her mother to the team physician and trainer, who sent her an application afterwards and hired her on the spot. Already having a great job on campus was Diamond's main factor in choosing to attend the UA.

As an athletic training technician, Diamond, a physiological sciences junior, aids the certified trainers as they tape ankles and take care of student athletes' other strains and pains.

To make sure they are comfortable in assisting team members, there are monthly training meetings for the training techs. At the meetings, they practice their skills and learn how to use delicate training equipment, including stem machines and treadmills.

Diamond said the experience is stressful, but well worth it. She said her work as a training tech has helped reinforce her ideas about what she wants to do after graduation. She is interested in a career in physical therapy or orthopedic medicine, or in becoming a Certified Trainer herself.

"I'm waiting to see how brave I get," she said.

Diamond's funniest on-the-job memory occurred one day during her freshman year when she was unable to locate two 800-pound bright red trunks containing medical equipment. She knew they were needed at football practice, so she ran all around McKale Center, desperately trying to find them as her boss pretended she did not know where they were. It was only after she had searched everywhere, she said, that her boss told her the trunks were already on their way to Washington State for a game.

Having a mom who is an alumna has also lead to some interesting situations for Diamond. They both lived in Arizona-Sonora their freshman years. Although Diamond was on the seventh floor and her mother on the fourth, their rooms were on the same side, in the same position.

Diamond's mother and cousin, who graduated in 2002, were also in the same social Greek sorority, Alpha Phi. Whenever her mother comes to visit, she can stop by her old house and say hello, Diamond said.

Diamond's involvement on campus doesn't end at McKale.

She is also involved in Alpha Phi Omega, a coed service fraternity on campus. The fraternity participates in events ranging from last weekend's Jim Click's Run ĪN' Roll to working at New Beginnings, a safe house for mothers and children who are getting back on their feet. Alpha Phi Omega members play with the kids a few hours a week, allowing the mothers some time to themselves.

Once, while she was on the sidelines at a football game, a group of kids from New Beginnings spotted Diamond. They came up to say hello and ask if she was coming that week to play with them. Diamond calls her philanthropy work a great experience and loves taking part in it.

When she isn't working or helping out the community, Diamond said she enjoys spending time with her roommates and friends. They have fun doing everything together, including making late-night Wal-mart runs.

The group also loves watching Bravo Īs "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," a television show in which five hosts make-over a man. Diamond said she likes the show because it is funny and because it is amazing how well the hosts understand what attracts women to a man. She said the makeovers often work and the participant is able to attract whomever he wants.

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