MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - With West Virginia University’s 2014 spring graduation celebration scheduled for May 9-11, WVUSports.com will focus on a student-athlete graduation story each day this week.
This week’s final feature centers on WVU junior men’s basketball player Kevin Noreen
Most student-athletes graduating this weekend will leave West Virginia University with a degree and a complete athletic career.
The everyday demands of class, practice and mandatory study halls will become just a memory for those leaving the Mountain State.
However, some student-athletes will continue to climb higher as a Mountaineer after graduation. Of those continuing their education and athletic career is men’s basketball player Kevin Noreen
“I get to finish up my undergraduate career this weekend,” Noreen explained. “It’s a huge accomplishment to join those who have a college degree. Knowing I did it while playing basketball and maintaining a high grade point average is great. I will be very proud of all of that, but it’s only a start.”
A start is just what the Minneapolis, Minn., native will get when he returns to the university for the fall semester. A sport management major, he will continue as a graduate student in Human Resources and Industrial Relations.
Taking the advice of former Mountaineer Jonathan Kimble and former men’s basketball player Cameron Thoroughman, Noreen’s decision to further his education at WVU’s School of Business and Economics was an easy one.
“Those guys really sold me on it,” Noreen said. “They told me about all of it – the good and bad parts – and I still really wanted to do it.”
The Academic All-Big 12 First Team member saw the program as a perfect fit. With a solid background in sport management and his continuing education, Noreen has a vision for his future.
“I want to be on the human resources side of a sports team,” Noreen said. “It would be a challenge, and I’d get to work with people and sports, which I would love. I could see myself doing that and it being a challenge every day. That’s what I’m looking for.”
While Noreen looks forward to the future of his post-athletic career, he knows that his senior year on the men’s basketball team will be the most challenging yet.
“Doing well in school and playing any sport is a juggling act,” Noreen explained. “I will still be able to meet the demands of both, but it is going to take a lot of hard work on my part.”
Pushing the limits of athletics and education is something Noreen has made himself familiar with. He feels more mature and ready for the “real world”, but he is also looking forward to something bigger and better.
How does he handle the juggling act? Hard work and determination. Noreen offers advice to those freshmen in the men’s basketball recruiting class that will be thrown into the life of a student-athlete in the fall.
“Go to class,” Noreen simply stated. “Be there on time. The people that are there will remember when you ask questions when you’re not sure. No one wants you to fail. Your performance during games shows how much you have worked, and it will be the same with your grades. If school is important to you, which it is to me, that’s the way to go about being successful.”
A recipient of more than five academic honors, Noreen is fit to advise the newcomers. Looking back on his college career, he is proud of his decisions and time management that put him in such a great position to pursue a master’s degree in something he can see himself doing for a lifetime.
When describing his preparation for the next level, both in his senior year of athletics and his post-undergraduate coursework, Noreen was very certain of one thing.
“I’m not done yet,” Noreen said. “That’s the fun part. I’m ready to take on the demands of graduate school. Bring it on.”