As The Summit League’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) prepares to host its 10th annual meeting in Chicago, the league will profile one of the league’s nine institution’s SAAC representatives each weekday leading up to the July 25-27 meeting.
This year’s SAAC representatives consist of 18 student-athletes from nine different sports – five volleyball players, four cross country/track and field athletes, three swimming and diving athletes and one athlete from each of the following sports, men’s soccer, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, golf, tennis and baseball. The group consists of eight seniors, eight juniors, one sophomore and one former student-athlete.
Today, we get to know Fort Wayne’s Jordan Armstrong, Hailie Ripley and Tim Saltys.
Jr. | Men’s Volleyball | Glenville, N.Y.
Favorite summer vacation spot: Edisto Island, S.C.
Currently on your music play list: 90's, 2000's, Dave Matthew's Band, O.A.R, Darius Rucker.
Funniest memory from youth sports: I was playing in a tournament against a team that my mom was coaching and she called a timeout when it was my turn to serve.
Actor/actress that would play you in a movie: Chadwick Boseman.
Remembering your first college competition: The first time I played in a college match it was coming off of a really bad injury I got during the fall preseason. I got substituted into the match during the fourth set when we were losing two sets to one and losing by a few points in that set. We ended up making a huge comeback and won the match in five sets!
The sport you would be playing, if you weren’t playing your current sport: If I was not playing volleyball I think I would be playing tennis. I have always been a very big fan of the sport and played all through high school.
Favorite athlete growing up: When I was younger and even today my favorite athlete is Serena Williams. I have always enjoyed watching her compete.
Three people in history you would want to join you at a four-person table: Arthur Ashe, Nelson Mandela, and Thomas Jefferson.
Favorite television show: Top Chef.
Best advice you’ve ever received: "Wake up each day and do everything you can to be the best person you can. Regardless of whether you succeed or fail, as long as you do everything you're capable of to be the best you can, there is no reason to hang your head."
Jr. | Women’s Volleyball | Waunakee, Wis.
Favorite summer vacation spot: My grandparents house in Upper Michigan. It’s on the lake and surrounded by woods. Could it get better than that?
Currently on your music play list: World is Our Playground, Latch, Smile, and Fancy.
Funniest memory from youth sports: My gym teacher in fourth grade was the varsity volleyball coach. She tried to get me to come to her summer camps and volleyball clinics. I would find every excuse in the book thinking she was crazy. However in the end, I wouldn’t be where I am today without her!
Actor/actress that would play you in a movie: Jennifer Lawrence.
Remembering your first college competition: I remember feeling like I didn’t know how to play volleyball.
The sport you would be playing, if you weren’t playing your current sport: I would most likely be playing basketball. I played basketball for the majority of my childhood, and I originally thought that I would play basketball in college!
Favorite athlete growing up: Michael Jordan! I don’t think I really need to explain why he was my favorite, but I am pretty sure Space Jam was a contributing factor.
Favorite professional sports team: Green Bay Packers! Go Pack Go!
Three things in life you couldn’t live without: I couldn’t live without fruit, my family, and traveling. I love fruit, and you can eat it with anything! My family is insane, and I love every second of it. We have different dynamics than a typical family, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. As soon as I am done with volleyball and school, I plan to go travel the world! I love seeing new places and experiencing different cultures.
Three people in history you would want to join you at a four-person table: Sigmund Freud, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Anne Frank.
Favorite television show: Criminal Minds.
Best advice you’ve ever received: Do what makes you happy. Hard work can get you anywhere.
Former Student-Athlete | Men’s Tennis/Cross Country | Lagoa, Portugal
Favorite summer vacation spot: That I have been to, Tenerife - the Spanish islands off the coast of Africa! It is very touristy, but lots of things to do and great weather. Can't beat being in the ocean, too!
Currently on your music play list: Red Hot Chili Peppers, David Guetta, lots of house and techno music.
Funniest memory from youth sports: I remember playing on my local soccer team when I was young. I was new on the team and I was really nervous. I was to start the game off with the first pass, the whistle blew and I was motionless - I have no clue why! The other team in the mean time got the ball and managed to set up a play that resulted in a goal within less than a minute! It was not too funny at the time... but looking back, it was probably a good thing I did not carry on playing soccer!
Remembering your first college competition: Playing for the Mastodons! I thought that was exciting, to be able to play for your whole university, something that does not happen back home in Portugal.
The sport you would be playing, if you weren’t playing your current sport:Handball! The European version. Growing up I played handball and tennis. Then I had to choose and I stuck with tennis. I do not regret my choice by any means, but I miss the fast pace of handball and it being a team sport.
Favorite athlete growing up: Lleyton Hewitt from Australia. He got to No. 1 in the world of tennis and I loved his style at the time. Plus, I thought Australia was a cool place to be from.
Favorite professional sports team: Chelsea FC (a British "soccer" team). Mainly because it was my best friend's favorite team and I ended up watching so many games that I became a fan too.
Three things in life you couldn’t live without: Yogurt, cookies and cereal. It's the little things in life that count.
Three people in history you would want to join you at a four-person table: Ben Carson, a living world-renowned neurosurgeon. Roger Federer, no introduction needed. Julius Caesar, to see the perspective of rulers of that time!
Favorite television show: I have to mention all three! How I met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, and Two and a Half Men.
Best advice you’ve ever received: As cliche as it is, "be kind to everybody you meet, for they are all fighting a battle you have no idea about". It's true, we really have no clue what somebody is going through or how far they have come when we meet them. Everybody has their differences, but there is no reason why everybody shouldn't be treated equally. Plus, in today's world networking is key. The next person you bump into could be your potential future employer, or the person that your employer will ask a reference of to vouch for your character when considering whether or not to hire you.