Oct. 31, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Former Utah State men's basketball player and current Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and Diversity, Marvin Roberts spoke to USU student-athletes on the night of Wednesday, Oct. 30, and Aggie women's soccer player Brooke Larsen-Leavitt reflected about her experience:
I, along with my fellow teammates and other Aggie student-athletes had the awesome opportunity to listen to Utah State basketball legend Marvin James Roberts speak to us last night. His presentation, "Basketball Is What I Do, Not Who I Am," was about the importance of developing yourself as a person -- not just an athlete -- and being prepared for real-life after college.
"I was you," Roberts said. "46 years ago, I was you. I was in your shoes."
His words really caused me to reflect. I am a junior right now and only have one more year left of college soccer. One year. Last night as I lay in bed, I let those words sink in. One year, and something I've worked toward my entire life -- something I've put my whole heart and soul into for years and years -- will be over. Growing up, I was a soccer fanatic. I was that girl who always wore her tournament T-shirts and soccer shorts to school so she could play soccer at recess with the boys. I can't remember a time I wasn't rushing home after school to scarf down a quick snack before rushing off to go to practice. It's always been my life. So, to think my soccer career will be all over in one short year is pretty crazy and somewhat hard to grasp.
"I am so much more than a basketball player," Roberts said. "So much more."
He warned us about how people can sometimes identify so much with the things they do and are involved with, that when they aren't doing those things anymore, they seemingly lose their identity.
Although the values and everything Marvin Roberts learned from basketball ultimately prepared him for life and shaped him into the person he is today, basketball is not Marvin Roberts. It's simply something he did. He has been incredibly successful working for various corporations and continuing to make a name for himself outside of basketball.
As a student here there have been many times I've been introduced to someone as Brooke -- the girl on the USU soccer team. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't be prouder to be part of and affiliated with Utah State women's soccer. Wearing my Aggie blue jersey with that U-State insignia on game day is one of the greatest feelings in the world. But, like Marvin Roberts said about basketball, there is so much more to me than just soccer. I am a soccer player, but I am also a wife, a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter and a friend. I spend hours every day at soccer practice, but I also spend my time with family and friends, my church, working toward my public relations major, playing the piano, adventuring outdoors, making up recipes and writing.
Soon, being a member of the USU soccer team won't be part of my introduction anymore. But everything I have learned as an Aggie soccer player and the lasting friendships I have made are now permanently part of who I am. As Roberts said, they are things I, as a college student-athlete, will inevitably hold close to my heart no matter where I end up in life. My teammates will always be my family.
Marvin Roberts continued to excel after his sport's career and has paved the way for the rest of us Utah State University student-athletes. He has set a very high standard and has showed us how to be successful not only within, but also outside athletics. For that, we thank you Marvin.
Basketball is what he does, not who he is.
Larsen-Leavitt and the Aggie soccer team concludes its regular-season action in a home match against Boise State on Friday, Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. at the Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field. It will be Senior Day, as the Aggies will be honoring their five seniors.
Admission is free for all fans.
Fans can follow USU soccer at http://twitter.com/USUsoccer and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics. Fans can also follow Aggies soccer on Instagram at http://instagram.com/USUsoccer.
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