Inspiring graduate
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson () - April 20, 2006 - 12:00am
My Ateneo buddy Robin Tong says it’s possible Philippine history was made when Lady Eagles basketball star Carolyn Tan-Chi was graduated summa cum laude with a psychology degree this year.

It’s not often a varsity athlete graduates with honors. In the US, two females come to mind–Marilynn Brockman and Keri Boyce. Brockman played on the Lamar senior basketball team and earned a degree in Business and Finance, summa cum laude, in 2002 while Boyce, a soccer standout, also took summa cum laude honors in gaining a marketing degree at the University of Kentucky in 2003.

In the National Basketball Association (NBA), Bill Bradley is the shining example of an intellectual athlete. He finished at Princeton with honors and was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University before joining the New York Knicks. Bradley later became a senator.

Another NBA player who became a high-profile government official was Tom McMillen. The former University of Maryland center was once a congressman.

Of course, being a senator or a congressman doesn’t necessarily mean one is intelligent. There are enough examples in Philippine government history to prove it.

Carolyn’s brother Paul played for the Ateneo varsity, too, and graduated cum laude.

Robin says Carolyn’s achievement is a source of inspiration for athletes and students. Who says you can’t be an A-student if you’re a star player?

Carolyn’s thesis was on music therapy for autistic children. She plans to work for a multinational company after attending a two-month Bible course in Austria with the Torchbearers Missionary Fellowship School then down the road, hopes to put up a school to teach music therapy.

Carolyn learned how to play music by ear and is a level 10 piano player. She is the designated keyboardist during youth worships, retreats and religious gatherings as an active member of the Christ’s Commission Foundation.

In 2002, she took Rookie of the Year honors in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP). Carolyn led the Lady Eagles to the UAAP seniors title this season. A two-time Ambrosio Padilla Athlete of the Year awardee, she was also cited as the St. Ignatius Most Outstanding Scholar awardee this schoolyear. Believe it or not, Carolyn didn’t enroll in formal school until grade 6. She was home educated from kindergarten to grade 5. The transition from home school to the traditional school setting was obviously no problem for Carolyn.
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Boxing scholar Hermie Rivera turned 68 the other day and is still punching. Known as the maker of champions for steering Luisito Espinosa and Morris East to world championships, Rivera celebrated quietly in his Quezon City home by his lonesome as his family is in Newark, California.

"Few people hold on to dreams these days but when I think of you, I know that there is another dreamer I can count on to face life with optimism," texted Rivera in his birthday message.

To prove he’s far from hanging up his gloves, Rivera threw a killer combination at the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) on his special day. He referred to this weekend’s GAB convention as ‘nonsensical’ and a waste of people’s money.

"This agency which prides itself in attending boxing conventions all over the world, imposing their presence at world title fights, now hosts a convention of its own, a first since its inception, inviting officials of the various boxing cartels at our expense to grace the occasion,’’ blasted Rivera.

"What good will this remarkably bad undertaking bring to boxing? It’s bad enough that we have subsidized all of their junkets. To the utter detriment of no less than the President who had earlier called for belt-tightening. And yet they persist in doing such foolhardy enterprise.

"Keep in mind that WBC president Jose Sulaiman when reminded at a convention hosted by Thailand laid squarely the blame on the GAB for the unpaid $150,000 purse of Luisito. For the love of anyone, I simply can’t find an iota of justification as to why this is being held at all."
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>It’s Emilio Aguinaldo College versus San Beda College in the inaugural game of the Nike Summer Basketball League at the Aguinaldo College gym tomorrow.

The country’s top summer cage league got even bigger by incorporating the Fr. Martin’s Cup in a merger that has attracted the best varsity programs in the country. The tournament is split into three divisions–seniors (25 teams in three groups), juniors (24 teams in three groups) and women’s (nine teams). UAAP mainstays Far Eastern University (two teams), University of the East, Ateneo (two teams), La Salle, Adamson, National University and University of Santo Tomas are entered in the seniors division.

Nike Philippines country director Ariel Fermin said the merger of the Nike Summer League and the Fr. Martin’s Cup "revolutionizes summer basketball, giving ballers a venue to showcase their basketball skills and flare, additionally, it gives coaches and the entire country an opportunity to witness the young talents out there."

The games will also serve as a test for players battling for slots in their school varsity rosters this coming season.

Nike marketing communications manager Mae Dichupa said highlights of the games will be shown in a weekly half-hour TV show called "Nike Summer League On Air" every Friday from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on Studio 23. The program is hosted by Boom Gonzales and Alex Compton with Tricia Chiongbian reporting at courtside. The pilot episode will air on April 28.

AGUINALDO COLLEGE AMBROSIO PADILLA ATHLETE OF THE YEAR ARIEL FERMIN ATENEO BILL BRADLEY BOOM GONZALES AND ALEX COMPTON CAROLYN LADY EAGLES RIVERA UNIVERSITY
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