Every athlete strives to perform at the highest level possible and in many instances, they find someone that motivates them to do just that.
For example, a young pop warner quarterback may be the biggest Tom Brady fan and want to be just like him when he’s older. This young man will study the way Tom Brady plays, his personality on and off the field and his ability to make others around him better, essentially idolizing him.
So who do current Ferris athletes idolize and model their games around?
Redshirt sophomore guard Riley Blair is a pre-nursing major going into her third year with the women’s basketball team.
“Most recently, I would say I model my game around Denzel Valentine. He was not extremely talented but the consistency in his game was unmatchable. Versatility is something I’ve always tried to expand in my game and I think he had such a wide range to his game that made him so difficult to defend,” Blair said. “His mental toughness and natural ability to lead are his best attributes. Those are two skills that are often overlooked in basketball.”
Senior wing Noah King is an accounting/finance major going into his fourth and final basketball season with the three-time defending Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championship men’s basketball team.
“Paul George has always been one of my favorite players even when he was at Fresno State, so I’d say if I model my game after anybody, then it would be him,” King said. “His ability to score with the ball on three levels of the court whether it’s long range, mid-range or in the paint is something that is very influential to me.”
Redshirt junior wide receiver Malik Taylor is a criminal justice major entering his fourth season with the football team. Taylor was the Bulldog’s leading receiver with 47 catches for 1,017 yards and five touchdowns in the 2016 season.
“When I was younger I would always hear how fast I was and that I should play college football. Tavon Austin was one of the most electrifying college athletes at the time, so I would always try to make moves as if I was him,” Taylor said. “I try to model my character around Derek Carr. He is a religious NFL quarterback who has a beautiful family and he always seems to do the right thing and be the best public figure he can.”
Junior defensemen Zac Tierney is a finance major entering his third season with the men’s hockey team. Tierney is a part of a veteran defensive core returning this season.
“I always tried to model my game after Ryan McDonagh because he also is a left shot defenseman who is a really strong skater and can play strong offense as well as strong defense,” Tierney said. “Sidney Crosby is one of the people I like to model my game around because he is a tremendous leader on and off the ice. But I also aspire to be the same character as my father because he raised me into the person I am today.”
No matter what sport athletes play or the background they come from, there is often one or two players that have a profound impact on the way they play and behave. Having an idol to look up to can push athletes to not only become the best they can be on the field but also aid them to build strong character.