News Briefs from Jamie Flanagan’s “Entertainment Coverage” class:
Name: LaTasha A. Wright
Kevin Jackson runs for Michigan States track team. He was recruited and given a scholarship. Jackson is from Detroit, Michigan and he graduated from Martin Luther King High school.
He was raised by his mother who was a radiologist and his father has his own business. He was mostly involved in basketball throughout high school. However in his last semester he started running track.
“It was a blessing, I met a lot of people. It was a pretty good experience,” Jackson said.
Jackson’s high jump personal best is 6’10 ½, (208 meters). He wants to clear 7’ and build from there.
“ At 7’ you are in the money at that point,” Jackson said.
Jackson’s keys to success are to work hard and stay focused. His aspirations and goals keep him motivated and encourages him to keep his brother on track, who is a senior in high school and plays football.Jackson hopes to make a difference as a Spartan and be the best he can be.
Name: Ashleigh Artist
In today’s society, it’s not unusual to hear about a recent divorce or breakup in entertainment or within a community. So when Michigan State University sophomore jumper Kevin Jackson said he came from a broken home, it was nothing out of the ordinary.
One thing out of the ordinary is that he was able to travel to participate in meets his freshman year. Varsity sports typically “red-shirt” their freshmen athletes, especially those who had only been participating for a few months, like Jackson.
To “red shirt” an athlete is to make them wait a year to prepare and train for their sport so that they are ready their sophomore year. For a recent athlete, like Jackson, to avoid such an action means one thing, he’s good.
“I didn’t impact the score of the first few meets, but at the invitational I scored higher than any other freshman and sophomore in history.” said Jackson.
Name: Megan Kuebler-Job
College hockey player Drew Palmisano is living the dream of many young aspiring athletes across the country. Despite growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he always had an affinity for Michigan State athletics. Growing up he spent most of his time committed to hockey, and even on the weekends he had to sacrifice hanging out with friends to travel for games with his parents. His hockey career before Michigan State included playing with different travel teams in the Detroit Metro area. He also played for a team in Omaha, Nebraska. Before attending college at Michigan State he studied at Michigan Tech. He was offered several hockey scholarships to different schools. Finding it tough to make the call, he received a call from Michigan State the day he was meant to make his decision. They offered him a scholarship he couldn’t refuse as well as they had one of the strongest hockey teams of his choices. He now says studying at Michigan State and played hockey for them is like a dream come true, although he faces many challenges still, like finding the time to get his school work done with balancing the team, and continuing to give up make social aspects of his young adulthood. He says striving to be the best and making the most of this amazing opportunity he was given makes it all worth it.
Name: Brooke Burchill
“Hopefully I’ll play pro hockey”. How many times has that phrase been muttered by some Wayne Gretzky hopeful? Well, when Michigan State University junior Drew Palmisano says those words, he means it, and there’s a good chance he can make them a reality.
The Ann Arbor native claims that his, “supporting cast is the key to succeeding in sports.” With help from his mother and extended family, Palmisano has been able to push through anything life throws at him. He survived a blood disease that almost ended his career at a young age.
During his freshman year at MSU, Palmisano looked up to teammate Jeff for inspiration. “He was a captain, leader of our team,” Palmisano said, “[Jeff was] there twenty minutes before practice started and fifteen minutes after.”
So what can we expect from this young skater? Dedication. Palmisano said that hockey is his number one love and he has, “so many goals; I want to do so much.” As he looks forward to his future in hockey, MSU student look forward to another great year from him.
Name: Megan Smith
Kevin Jackson a high jumper in track at MSU is from Detroit and attended school at Martin Luther King Jr. for middle school and high school. In high school he played basketball and in the second semester, to stay in shape, joined track. He got a scholarship for track at MSU and started traveling as a freshman which most don’t start until sophomore year. His personal best is 6’10 but hopes one day to reach his goal of 7 feet. Last year he injured knee and was red shirted his sophomore year. He is looking forward to getting healthy and being able to run and just again. At the press conference Jackson said “always stick to your goals” and to work hard to be the best. Jackson also said, “You have to give up a lot but in the end it’s all worth it!”
Name: Alex Sepe
Drew Palmisano has had a love for hockey since childhood. He was introduced to the sport by his older brother at the age of 3. He realized that he had an interest in it but was not thrilled about skating. He joined a team and became a goalie.
He sacrificed his time and missed out on school events like dances and football games, due to his commitment to hockey. He played throughout high school, but an illness sent him to the hospital and on the bench for 3 to 4 months. Luckily his case of ITP wasn’t long term, and he was able to get back in the game when he was healthy.
When it came time to figure out college, Drew said that he was considered a “traitor” for choosing Michigan State but admits that he “always bled green and white a bit more.” The decision to come to MSU was easy for him.
“Its really a dream come true that I’m here right now,” Palmisano said. He now is the starting goalie for the Spartans and hopes to play professionally.
Name: Katie Ziraldo
A mere three hours before it was time for hockey player Drew Palmisano to make his decision about where to go to college, he received a phone call from a Michigan State University coach, offering him a scholarship. Although he was from Ann Arbor and called a “traitor,” Palmisano accepted.
“The support you get here from the other athletes definitely pushes you,” Palmisano said. “I’m not a superstar athlete. Just kind of one piece of the puzzle.”
But becoming a part of said puzzle took some work.
“Playing a sport definitely has changed me,” Palmisano said. “In high school, I was gone pretty much every weekend so I didn’t really have a lot of friends. But as I got older I realized there was a reason I was sacrificing that. I have a lot of friends now, and I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.”
Palmisano did not get there all by himself, however.
“A lot of athletes have mentors like fathers or brothers,” Palmisano said. “I know that was key for me.”
Playing college hockey is not the end of the road for Palmisano. With the support of his friends and family, he has high hopes and goals for the future.
“After college I hope to play a little professional hockey,” Palmisano said. “So I just need to keep striving.”