4:15 a.m.- Wake-up
The daily life of a FAMU athlete begins around the time some FAMU students’ nights are just winding down. Soon after 4 o’clock a.m., FAMU senior basketball player Jonathan Kelly is up and on his way to the gym for 5:15 practice.
4:45 a.m.- Arrive at gym
Kelly, a Tallahassee native, is entering his fourth season as a Rattler shooting guard and small forward.
Kelly came to FAMU after a stellar high school career at local Chiles high school, where he averaged nearly 30 points per game. While playing for FAMU, Kelly has scored over 500 career points and shot nearly 45-percent (.449) field goal percentage from the field thus far in his career.
5:30- 8:00 a.m.- Practice
The task of balancing life as a full-time student as well as a full-time athlete can prove challenging to any individual, especially when the other responsibilities involved in being a “full-time” athlete are factored in.
Among these added responsibilities are frequent and extended travels, which can cause student-athletes to miss substantial amounts of classes. “It affects my work a lot,” said Kelly in reference to missing class due to away game travels. “Especially with classes I only have twice a week, I might have to miss all of my classes for the week.”
11:00- 3:00 p.m.- Class time
“I try to stay on top of my work and show up for class whenever I can,” said Kelly. “When professors see me putting in the extra effort and still getting the grades, they work with me. I never miss classes I don’t have to, it’s hard enough just playing basketball.”
By working with him, Kelly refers to time and due dates of his assignments under agreement with his professors because of his obviously extraneous circumstances.
The key is earning the trust of the professors, according to Kelly, which is done by keeping up with all assignments and studying and excelling on tests, as opposed to the popular myth that every athlete just gets to go to school on their own terms.
3:30 p.m.- Watch film for upcoming game
Another popular myth disproved by Kelly is the one that the ability to balance classes and athletics becomes easier over the years.
“Over the years, I thought I’d get good at it, BUT, it actually gets harder as the years go on,” said the senior broadcast journalism major.
“There is more material to cover, with the challenging fourth-year courses, which means more material and less time to do it.”
With the dedication and work ethic of a true veteran, Kelly is a true leader of his team, on and off the court. He shows added dedication and drive in his studies proving to be a great example for younger players on the team to look up to in keeping his academic life above par. Kelly proves a great example of the ability to prioritize and multi-task that are essential skills in the life of any collegiate-level student athlete.
Contact Reginald Snowden at firstname.lastname@example.org