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Doubling Down on Athletics

NAIT Ooks Will Pittman plays on both the basketball and soccer team.

By Mia Hildebrandt

Every collegiate student athlete has the challenge of balancing academic work with competing at a high level in their sport. While most athletes play one sport and have their hands full, Will Pittman is doubling down on the experience.

Pittman is currently playing on both the men’s soccer and basketball teams while pursuing a degree in the business program majoring in finance. Playing point guard on the court and striker on the field, Pittman has a lot on his plate this semester.

“I have to take the time to plan out my schedule, I have three calendars around my house. I’m always trying to plan ahead and make sure I know what is when,” said Pittman.

Pittman said the hardest part about playing two collegiate sports is time management and free time is definitely the biggest sacrifice that comes with playing two sports at this level.

“I’m constantly having to think ‘Is my homework done or when is my practice?’” he said.

Will Pitman star soccer and basketball player.
Railene Hooper

Pittmann says his love for the games are his motivation for having to sacrifice so much time.

“I love playing both sports and you can only do it for so long. If I’m able to do two, why not? It’s a privilege,” said Pittman.

In high school, playing two sports wasn’t even enough for Pittman, who was also a member of the football team. Pittman talked about the pressure he felt from coaches who wanted him to specialize.

“I always had coaches saying ‘please stick to soccer’ or ‘please stick to basketball’ but I just can’t. I love both of them. They are different in their own way,” said Pittman.

Pittman credits his love of sports to his family.

“My brothers were always playing sports. Sports have always been around me growing up. My mom and dad were the first people to coach me for soccer,” he said.

Although sports are a huge part of Pittman’s life, they don’t fully encompass it. Music is also a big part of his life.

“[I’m] always listening to music, singing or doing something involved with music. I grew up playing guitar and a little bit of piano. People will make fun of me because I’ll be listening to country than I’ll go to rap then some alternative,” said Pittman.

As an Ook, Pittman’s favourite memory was scoring his first goal in soccer.

“The basketball guys were out watching, the score was tied so it was a goal that put us ahead. To hear all my teammates on the bleachers going wild was kind of cool,” said Pittman.

“I’ve probably been asked the question, ‘Which one is my favourite?’ 20 or 30 times in the last month,” says Pittman laughing. “I grew up playing soccer, and I never played basketball until I moved from Ontario to Edmonton … at first [my favourite] was soccer but now basketball is slowly taking its place.”

Pittman is learning to embrace the chaos of being a multi-sport student athlete.
“It’s just a fun experience and a fun environment.”

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