This story first appeared in the Winter edition of the Harker Quarterly.
Usua Amanam ’09 was not thinking about playing Division 1 college football while in middle school at Harker, but he learned a lot back then that is helping him to be successful today. Now he is a scholar athlete at Stanford University competing for time in the running back spot and majoring in energy resources engineering.
One of the most challenging aspects for student athletes at a school like Stanford is managing their time effectively. These students have not only the usual responsibilities of classes, homework and tests but additional practices, workouts, games and travel to manage.
Amanam admits that time management is one of the more challenging aspects of his life right now but says that as an athlete, he gets lots of help from tutors, academic advisors and teammates who want him to be successful. Amanam said, “It took me a while to learn how to balance everything, especially my first year, but it has gotten easier [and now] I couldn’t imagine being at a better place.”
Amanam fondly remembers playing on Harker basketball teams and the friends he made while attending the school. He remarked that some of his best friends, with whom he still stays in touch, are those he met at Harker.
Amanam also had a few pieces of advice for all the budding student athletes out there. He said that it is important to remember that not everything will come easily and that you have to work for every little bit. His dad taught him that you can never be satisfied and that constantly striving to improve is the key to success.
Of his current situation Amanam said, “I’ve been blessed and I really appreciate everyone who helped me get to where I am … it has been a really humbling experience.”