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Contributing—On and Off the Court

When the Dartmouth men's basketball team was struggling at point guard late last year, Coach Terry Dunn turned the job over to Johnathan Ball '08. Although he isn't a point guard—or a guard of any kind for that matter—the 6-foot-4 forward from Memphis, Tenn., handled the role with aplomb.

Johnathan Ball '08
Johnathan Ball '08 (Photo by Mark Washburn)

Earlier this season, when none of Dartmouth's centers could contend with New Hampshire's big man, Dunn again turned to Ball, this time to defend a player nearly a half-foot taller. Although the Big Green couldn't quite pull out the win, Ball's staunch play was a key factor in making the game a close one.

"I would do anything, anything to be on the winning end of the court," says Ball, a sociology major. "I just happen to be blessed with the ability to play a lot of positions and will do whatever the team needs."

Ball's contributions since coming to Dartmouth haven't been limited to the court or helping his team win. Since July 2005 he's been the Ivy League's representative to the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and a member of the Division I Men's Basketball Issues Committee.

"Spring term my freshman year I was so consumed with basketball and my academics that I felt I wasn't really involved on campus," says the Big Green co-captain. "The two seniors who had previously been on the committee said we needed somebody to step up. It was a great way to become involved with the well-being of student athletes."

As one of 31 Division I representatives nationally, Ball now speaks for all college athletes.

"The NCAA considers how we feel when making legislation. They respect our opinions," Ball says.

When you go to the national meetings and there all these conferences with athletes on scholarship, you have to step up and make sure the Ivy League voice is heard."

By BRUCE WOOD

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Last Updated: 5/30/08