Slam dunk: Brady prepares for his future with Sport Studies

Brady Harrington

Brady Harrington

When he came to SUNY Broome, Brady Harrington initially wasn’t sure about his path, but he knew his end goal: a career centered on sports.

Sports are a lifelong passion for the Whitney Point native, who plays on both the college’s basketball and baseball teams. At first, he checked out the Sports Management program, but found that the business focus didn’t suit him.

His coach suggested another option: Sport Studies. It proved to be a home run.

“It was a lot of stuff I was very interested in — sports psychology, team sports classes,” said Harrington, now a second-year student. “I’m starting to realize the opportunities I can pursue with this degree.”

The Sport Studies A.S. degree program is relatively new to SUNY Broome, having been introduced during the Fall 2016 semester. The program combines general education and physical education, and can lead to careers in physical education, coaching, exercise science, athletic training, kinesthesiology and more.

Seamless transfer agreements are in place for both SUNY Cortland and SUNY Brockport, making sure that all the students’ credits count toward a bachelor’s degree.

Currently, Team Sports is one of Brady’s favorite classes. Not only does it cover the basics of baseball, football, volleyball and baseball, but students learn how to teach these sports in a classroom setting. In a recent Adventure Activities class, Brady was tasked to teach his peers the ins and outs of a dodgeball game, while his instructor observed and evaluated his teaching style.

Professor Sandy Alter-Ballard, chair of the program, played an important role in guiding Brady’s academic path, he said. He also has Professor Robert Krowiak for three classes this semester, and enjoys them all.

“He’s a great professor and I’m learning a lot from him,” Harrington said.

The program also carries opportunities for applied learning – and community service. As part of the program, Brady is volunteering at Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church’s George F. Johnson Dream Center in Johnson City, where he coaches basketball. The after-school program is meant to give local children an alternative to the street.

“I’d like to do it for more hours,” he said of his volunteer work. “Being a basketball coach is one of my options.”

Of course, there are other options that intrigue him as well, such as sports psychology and teaching. He is still exploring his options, and expects to firm up plans once he transfers to either Cortland or Brockport.

SUNY Broome was the local option for Harrington, and commuting allowed him to avoid student debt and save money for his eventual transfer. Small class sizes and rigorous academics also make the college worthwhile – and provide opportunities to connect with other students in your program.

“I learned a lot and not just in terms of education, but basic life and social skills. I met a lot of great people,” said Harrington, noting that he had a chance to network with his instructions. “I definitely learned a lot and grew a lot as a person.”