More Than An Athlete: Marcy Garza, Malik Lawrence-Anderson

Local Sports

EDINBURG (KVEO) – As we near almost a full year of living in the COVID-19 pandemic, student-athletes have faced possibly the hardest tests they’ll ever take.

“Personally, it was a lot more difficult because I do enjoy in person classes,” Says sophomore soccer player Marcy Garza.

With in-person classes canceled, major adjustments were made this fall semester to ensure students were still able to get their education. Adjustments that weren’t exactly easy.

“[It was] probably more difficult than any other semester, because I basically had to teach myself,” Says junior basketball player Malik Lawrence-Anderson.

However, in a way, virtual learning has helped these student-athletes hold themselves accountable.

“You have to be on top of everything a lot more,” Says Marcy. “And definitely not be afraid to ask for help,”

Though Marcy didn’t have the opportunity to earn accolades on the field this semester, it gave her even more of a chance to focus in on achieving them in the classroom. With or without a soccer season, her grades are always a priority.

“I’ve always grown up knowing that school comes before soccer and it makes me feel proud of what I’m accomplishing here so I strive to get that GPA high,” Says Marcy.

For Malik, it’s his grandfather who pushes him to excel off the court.

UTRGV Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced today that the department’s 279 student-athletes posted a 3.25 GPA while 199 student-athletes are part of the Fall Athletic Director’s Honor Roll by achieving a GPA of at least 3.0 while serving as full-time students as part of a team during the fall semester.

One hundred seventeen student-athletes recorded a GPA of at least 3.5 to earn Dean’s List recognition, 54 of those student-athletes earned a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Despite these student athletes navigating virtual learning and physically being distanced from their coaches, advisors, and professors, those strong forces still play a large role in their academic success.

“A lot of credit goes to our coaches. It starts at the top. They value academics, they value graduation, they value our student-athletes being more than an athlete,” Says Deputy Director of UTRGV Athletics Molly Castner. “So you know, after they leave UTRGV as a student they want them to go on and have successful lives.”

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