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A nursing student-athlete interview with…Grace Stant

Senior * Red Bank, NJ * Basketball * Shooting Guard, Captain

"I love that this sport is not only a team sport where you can rely on your teammates but you also have to push yourself to be better than the person in front of you." -- Grace Stant, senior
Grace Stant shoots basketball

Q.     What do you love about your sport?  

The competitiveness. I am a very competitive person in most aspects of my life so I love that this sport is not only a team sport where you can rely on your teammates but you also have to push yourself to be better than the person in front of you.

Q.     What would surprise people about your sport or how you execute?   

What surprises most people about my sport is that I am a shooting guard. I am 6 feet tall but play outside and am actually not considered very tall. I play against girls that are anywhere between 6’2 and 6’6 on any given night.

Q.     What are you most proud of in terms of personal or team accomplishments?

I am most proud of my ability to maintain a high level of academic success off the court while still being 100 percent dedicated to basketball. I find that I have grown so much as a person being a student athlete who plays a high-level division I sport and is also in a very demanding major. This part of my life has taught me skills that will help me excel in the workplace. I am most proud of making the NCAA tournament with my team last year. It was the first time we made the tournament in a couple years and we really had an awesome time together.

Q.     How would you describe the time commitment?

Nursing is a huge time commitment in itself, but I also have practice every day for at least 2 hours. What a lot of people don’t understand is that playing a sport isn’t just practicing for 2 hours out of your day. We have film, life, traveling, meetings, and so many other things that take time out of the day as well. I tell everyone that I have a full-time job on top of being a full-time nursing student.

Grace Stant holds basketball.

Q. What characteristics does someone needs to be a successful nursing student-athlete?

Determination. You must be focused and goal oriented to be able to succeed playing both a division 1 sport and being a full-time nursing student. You must be willing to sacrifice a lot to keep up with the workload of school plus the time and energy commitment sports has. Being determined to follow through with this life plan is the only way you can be successful otherwise you will not be able to balance and prioritize those two responsibilities.

Q. What are your biggest challenges as a nursing student-athlete?  

Being able to balance school work, basketball, and my social life. Most people say that you have to pick two out of those three things because there is not enough time in the day, but in order to have a happy and healthy college experience you really need all three. You can’t completely rule out having a prominent social life because it will just make you unhappy in the other two aspects. You do need to learn how to make sacrifices and prioritize things to allow yourself time to succeed in all three parts.

Q.     Where do you find your inspiration as either an athlete or nursing student?  

I find inspiration as both an athlete and as a nursing student in my family. They have been there supporting me every step of the way my whole life and I really could not have made it this far without them. My dad is my #1 fan. He travels across the country to all my games and is always checking up on me to make sure I am ok. Knowing that he is there at all my games is motivation to work as hard as I possibly can to achieve the goals I have set for myself.

Q.     What do you want to do with your nursing career?  

After graduation I would like to work in the Emergency Department in New York City. Eventually I plan on moving to critical care to get experience, so I can go to CRNA school.

Q.     What advice would you give an incoming nursing student-athlete?  

Make friends with other nursing student athletes. No one understands how hard your life is like the other people experiencing the exact same thing. They are there for you when you need them most and can relate to the stress that both athletics and nursing add to your life. They also understand how much time both school and athletics takes up, so they understand how valuable your free time is.

Q.  Anything else you want to share?

I am super grateful to both my coaches and the nursing school for being so accommodating to the nursing student athlete lifestyle. My coaches have allowed me to follow my chosen career path in becoming a nurse while the nursing school has been extremely helpful in accommodating my needs as an athlete.