Earlier this week, Lamar Garrett, assistant track and field coach at Kansas State University, paid a visit to The Bahamas. He took time out of his busy schedule to speak to student-athletes during his time in The Bahamas.
The former Kansas State (K-State) student-athlete who now assists with the sprints, hurdles, pole vault, high jump and combined events in their athletics program, stressed that education is just as important as being an athlete.
“It is extremely important. Obviously, you can be as talented as you want to be, but without the educational side of it that opportunity is going to get cut short. If you are looking at going to any university, you need to have the grades. Without the grades, it’s just not going to be possible. I always tell every athlete, you can be an athlete from age 0-35 but you still have to get an education to get out in the real world not matter what you are doing,” Garrett said.
He knows about the struggles of student-athletes and thinks that they should just ask for help. Garrett said: “If we are talking at the high school level, if they need help, they can just ask. I think that a lot of athletes like to do things on their own and they don’t want to ask for help but if you are at the university level there’s tons of resources for you. Either way, just make sure you ask for help when you know you have an opportunity.”
This is the former high jumper’s first time in The Bahamas. He said he enjoyed the weather, seeing that it is very cold in Manhattan, Kansas, where the main campus of the Kansas State Wildcats is located.
“It’s great. It’s an amazing atmosphere. I love the island. It’s the first time I saw a cruise ship in person. It’s unbelievable,” he said. “It looks like the entire U.S., well at least the last few days, has an Arctic freeze. Getting out here and sweating a little bit is a nice change of pace but one thing I will say about Kansas is that you are going to get all four seasons. It is a good experience. The weather here is great.”
Garrett ran track in his final year of high school. He said he always wanted to be a coach and he even spent some time volunteering as a track coach at the University of Wisconsin. He finally got a coaching job six years ago at Illinois State University. This is his first year at K-State.
Garrett has never worked with Bahamian athletes but has seen them compete at a very high level. He said Bahamian student-athletes are extremely talented, and hopes to return herein short order.
“I have only seen them compete at a very high level. Recently, I have started looking at Bahamian athletes. There is no mistake that Bahamian athletes are good. The reason why is one, they have the passion, and two, the coaches are unbelievable, the attention they have to detail is unreal,” Garrett said.
K-State compete in the Big 12 Conferences in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. Making up that conference are universities like Texas Tech University, the University of Kansas, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas.
For Garrett, the biggest thing about Bahamian student-athletes is their character. He said being here has been an unbelievable experience and will definitely be coming back to The Bahamas multiple times.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism
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