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Turnin' up the heat


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JACOB KONST/Arizona Summer Wildcat
Kili Lefotu, a football offensive guard, studies for his sociology class in the stands at Arizona Stadium Monday.
By Jacob Konst
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
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Photo Essay

UA student athletes work out bodies and minds

"I love the sport," said Academic All-American gymnast Aubrey Taylor. This sentiment is echoed by students throughout the athletics program.

Most student athletes use their own strengths to excel at something they love.

"God gave me a football body, so that's how I will use it," said Kili Lefotu, UA football offensive guard.

Although it takes more than love to be a student athlete, these athletes say they definitely put in the time it takes to be great.

"(Student athletes) are the first group on campus and the last to leave," said Lefotu, sociology senior.

In addition to training sessions that sometimes start as early as 6 a.m., practice and injury rehabilitation, class stays a top priority for many athletes.

Photo
JACOB KONST/Arizona Summer Wildcat
Women's basketball guard Natalie Jones, family studies and human development senior, stretches before weight training Monday afternoon in McKale Center.

"(Athletes) are not all going to the pro leagues, making (class) really important," said gymnast Jamie Holton, a health education junior.

Because student athletes are constantly training, attending class and participating in competition, they don't have much time for themselves, Joy Hollingsworthm a women's basketball guard and business marketing senior.

"There isn't much (free time)," said Hollingsworth. "And when you do have time you are exhausted."

While many student athletes are preparing to go pro in their sport, some are looking forward to using the degree they've earned.

"After basketball, I want to go into law enforcement," said Natalie Jones, a woman's basketball guard and family studies and human development senior. "I'm not sure where I want to end up, FBI or something else, but I feel drawn to that kind of work."

Photo
JACOB KONST/Arizona Summer Wildcat
Gymnist Aubrey Taylor

Taylor, a psychology junior, said though athletes do enjoy some perks, they are constantly working hard to finish everything in their hectic schedules.

"Time management and self discipline become very important," Taylor said. "(Athletes) get priority registration, but with everything you have to do for the team you are left with a very small window to take classes you want."

Time, commitment, and patience are all needed to be a successful student athlete.

"But," Hollingsworth said, "most of all it has to be fun."



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