WASHINGTON – Gallaudet University athletics is proud to participate in the fifth annual NCAA Division III Week (April 4-10) in an effort to celebrate the impact athletics and Bison student-athletes have on our campus and surrounding community. GU is joining 450 Division III institutions and 43 conferences in this week’s celebration.
To help focus on the many student-athletes that represent Gallaudet athletics we will spotlight two different student-athlete each day this week. You will learn more about them as they express their feelings on what it is like to be a Division III student-athlete here at Gallaudet. Interviews were conducted by the Gallaudet Sports Information Office.
Senior Danielle Warren (San Jose, Calif.) is in her fourth season with the basketball team and on track to graduate this May with a degree in Social Work.
In My Own Words: Danielle Warren
What is it like to be a student-athlete in college?
DW: Well, the first year I joined I was benched. Being a student-athlete in college is tough because I learned how to balance school with sports, even though I only played one sport in four years. It’s really a lot of time commitment, a big time investment and it can be mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting. Six months is a long time and at the same time you have school, so it’s tough. The first two years were hard for me, I only focused on sports because I love basketball so much. Then my last two years I was able to balance it better, time-management wise. What I needed to do, I would do it now and what I don't need to do I will do it later. Plus the bus rides and the hotels helped a lot. It was tough, but I managed through it with support from my teammates, coaches, and friends.
What is it like to be a student-athlete at Gallaudet University?
DW: Here at Gallaudet, I think what really helped was that I was able to play with deaf players. Before that I was always on a mainstream team and I was always the only deaf player. It was hard to communicate with the team and in the classroom, it was tough, everything was indirect. Here it is different story, it’s direct and here I see everything. I didn't even notice if we have little problems on the team or little conflicts, I didn’t know that until now because I wasn’t involved with my hearing teammates. I never saw those things, I just came to play basketball and that’s it. Here I see more, and I connect more, and connect with the coaches better. We all have a good relationship, it’s like another family here. It’s the same with school too, a home away from home.
What are your goals after graduation, what do you hope to do in life?
DW: I am hoping I will get an interview for Maryland School for the Deaf for the girl’s basketball assistant coach position and I’m hoping to work as a dorm advisor. Really, I’m waiting until my GRE test that I’m taking in April, and then go to either University of Maryland or Stevenson University for graduate school to major in criminal justice.
How have you seen yourself change in the past four years here at Gallaudet? How has being a member of the women’s basketball team influenced those changes and impacted your performance in the classroom?
DW: Well, in these last four years under Coach Stephanie has been the best four years. The first year I was very quiet and humble. I was a freshman, I was young and most of the players were older, juniors or seniors and I looked up to them. I became a bench player but I wasn't used to that because I had always been a starter. Coach never said I wasn’t good enough, but she told me I had to work to become a starter. Even though I was benched, I was crazy on that bench, going wild supporting my team. I said ok, fine, so I worked and worked and worked and then by my sophomore year I became a starter. All of that work that I did during the summer paid off. When I came back [my junior year] coach looked at me and said; "what happened to you?" She thought about cutting me my first year, but she’s happy she didn’t because of my energy had really helped boost the team.
In four years, I would say this year was by far the toughest for me. I had to adjust to a lot of things, and for me as a person it is hard for me to adjust to new things. There were a lot of young players. It was hard because we all have different skills that we bring to the court, but we had to figure out how to make it all flow on the court.
I learned so much under Coach Stephanie, she taught me a lot of patience, a lot of waiting and understanding of other players and not to only think for myself, to think for the team. Being on this team under Coach Stephanie changed me to be a better person. If it wasn’t for this program it would be my last year and I would be the same person as I came in my freshman year. Being a student-athlete at Gallaudet University under Coach Stephanie has been a tremendous four-year ride.
Division III Week Fact of the Day
Did you know that Division III student-athletes report significantly greater gains in time management when compared with the student body.
Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Words
Friday: Toraneau Varice (Men's Track and Field) | Danielle Warren (Women's Basketball)
Thursday: Brad Peterson (Football) | Jamila Hubbard (Women's Track and Field)
Wednesday: David Bruno (Men's Swimming and Diving) | Jennifer Livengood (Women's Soccer)
Tuesday: Chase Magsig (Baseball) | Kevlasha Humphrey (Women's Cross Country)
Monday: Vicente Perez (Men's Cross Country) | Taylor Mickelson (Women's Swimming and Diving)
About Division III Week
Division III Week is a positive opportunity for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community. During the week, every Division III school and conference office is encouraged to conduct a type of outreach activity that falls into one of three categories: academic accomplishment; athletic experience; or leadership/community service/campus involvement. For more information log onto www.ncaa.org/about/division-iii-week-2016.
Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world. For more information about Gallaudet University please log onto www.gallaudet.edu.