SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento State gymnast Paige Bottano and men's soccer player James Del Curto were selected to participate in the 2016 NCAA Career in Sports Forum which will take place in Indianapolis on June 2-5. The pair represent two of three student-athletes that were chosen from Big Sky Conference schools.
This year marks the seventh consecutive then NCAA is inviting more that 200 current student-athletes and NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipients with an interest in working within the sports industry. A committee from with the NCAA membership selected the participants.
Those who expressed an interest in pursuing a career in sports, and who were viewed as leaders on their campus, were invited to apply to attend the forum after a nomination by athletics administrators at their respective schools. Many current and past attendees are members of their Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the student-athlete voice within the NCAA governance structure. The selection committee is comprised of administrators and coaches within the NCAA, many former forum participants themselves.
"Supporting NCAA student-athlete leaders with their education is a key goal for the Association," said Bernard Franklin, NCAA executive vice president of education and community engagement and chief inclusion officer. "Our Career in Sports Forum puts student-athletes and postgraduate scholarship recipients in a non-traditional academic setting where they can learn directly from successful leaders, which can have a positive impact on their future after graduation."
The Career in Sports Forum provides college athletes with a broader scope of the career tracks available within the sports business, with the primary focus on college athletics. The forum provides student-athletes interactive experiences with successful individuals in the sports business and a peek into their day-to-day duties and responsibilities.
Forum attendees will hear from keynote speakers and panelists, highlighted by LaChina Robinson, former women's basketball player at Georgia Tech and current TV analyst; Stevie Baker-Watson, director of athletics at DePauw University; and Craig McPhail, vice president of athletics and club sports at Lees-McRae College. The participants also learn best practices for gaining employment and gathering a better understanding of what future expectations will be once they get a job in sports at the Next Steps Fair, hosted in the NCAA Hall of Champions.
The NCAA leadership development department provides professional and personal development for the entire Association, including student-athletes, coaches and administrators, through accessible resources, strategic partnerships and annual customized programming at little or no cost to the membership.
Bottano was a member of the Hornet gymnastics team from 2013-16. She served as a bars specialist each season and was part of the team's 2016 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship. The Long Beach, Calif., native recently graduated with a degree in family and consumer science.
Del Curto will be a junior in 2016. He started 14 games in goal for Sacramento State last fall where he had a 1.66 goals against average and .730 saves percentage. He led the Big West and ranked 22nd in NCAA Div. I with 4.64 saves per game. During the year, he recorded a school record 14 saves in a victory over UC Irvine. That total was the highest in NCAA Div. I during the year.
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