As the end of the semester approaches, the seniors at Quinnipiac University are preparing for life after college. Resumes are being mailed to any employer who will take them and the debate rages on whether to find a place of their own, or move back in with the folks. But the student-athletes have another difficult decision to make: pursue a career in their sport, or settle in for a more typical 9 to 5 job. The dream of one day playing in a professional league is a hard one for any athlete to abandon, no matter what the odds. C.J. Vick, the starting center for the men’s basketball team, is one of the seniors approaching this dilemma.
Vick, a history major from Springfield, Va., has some choices to make over the next few months. He says that playing basketball could be in his future. He recently received an invite to a pre-draft camp in Fountain Valley (Calif.), and hopes to make the most of it.
“I’m going to go to the camp, which can hopefully lead to signing with an agent, and I’ll see where it goes from there.”
While basketball is Vick’s first choice, it’s not his only one.
“I’d like to do something that makes me happy, and I’d also like to help the community,” said Vick. “Another dream of mine would be to work in the Smithsonian. I grew up very close to the area, and being a history major I could help with research, things like that.”
While Vick is looking toward the future, he certainly won’t forget his past anytime soon. There are a handful of people he won’t soon forget. “There are some people I’ll always remember. There’s Erika Montgomery, who is on the volleyball team, who will be a friend for life; Carol Boucher, she’s been like my mom up here; then there’s Linda Lindroth, an art adjunct professor, who defines everything a teacher should be; and Bill Mecca, who has been one of the most influential coaches I’ve ever met,” said Vick.
There is also one memory he says he will always remember. “When we went to the NEC Championship game my freshman year, it was the most incredible feeling. As the seventh seed, we upset Wagner by 20 on their home court no less, then we upset UMBC and were a game away from the NCAA Tournament. Even though we lost to Central Connecticut in the title game, it was still a great feeling,” said Vick.
Vick also recalls an off-court incident that taught him a valuable lesson. His sophomore year, he was caught by residential life for inappropriate behavior. But he wound up taking it as a positive lesson. “That incident taught me about consequences, and how athletes can easily draw negative attention. Since than, I’ve behaved myself,” said Vick.
While Vick and the rest of the senior class may not be certain what is in the cards for them down the road, they can all take away important lessons and friendships they made here at Quinnipiac. He did have a few words of advice for his fellow seniors and underclassmen: “Take these four years given to us, and suck every last drop out of it. Don’t leave any stone unturned. This place is a part of me that will last forever.”