THE ITHACAN

Accuracy • Independence • Integrity
The Student News Site of Ithaca College

THE ITHACAN

The Student News Site of Ithaca College

THE ITHACAN

Support Us
$1375
$2000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support The Ithacan's student journalists in their effort to keep the Ithaca College and wider Ithaca community informed. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Support Us
$1375
$2000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support The Ithacan's student journalists in their effort to keep the Ithaca College and wider Ithaca community informed. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Baseball player earns award for academic efforts

Fabian+was+selected+to+receive+the+NYSATA+memorial+scholarship%2C+a+%242%2C000+stipend+awarded+by+the+New+York+State+Athletic+Trainer%E2%80%99s+Association.+The+scholarship+is+gifted+to+an+athletic+training+student+annually+for+excellence+in+the+field.
Aminatta Imrana Jallow
Fabian was selected to receive the NYSATA memorial scholarship, a $2,000 stipend awarded by the New York State Athletic Trainer’s Association. The scholarship is gifted to an athletic training student annually for excellence in the field.

Outside of its athletic caliber — earning back-to-back Liberty League titles in the past two seasons — the Ithaca College baseball team’s talents range far beyond the diamond.

In Spring 2023, 11 athletes were selected for the Liberty League All-Academic team, exemplifying the program’s dedication to success on and off the field. Among those athletes is graduate student outfielder/infielder Matthew Fabian, an athletic training major who earned Liberty League Honorable Mention and CSC Academic All-District status in 2023.

In January, Fabian was selected to receive the NYSATA memorial scholarship, a $2,000 stipend awarded by the New York State Athletic Trainer’s Association. The scholarship is gifted to an eligible athletic training student who excels in the classroom and promotes the athletic training profession within their community while pursuing a degree at an accredited college or university in New York state.

Fabian said he was nominated for the scholarship based on his work as a student athletic trainer with the college’s women’s soccer team in Fall 2023. There, he had the opportunity to work with the athletes on the field and in the Hill Center clinic.

“This was my first academic award for athletic training, so I really wasn’t expecting it at all.” Fabian said. “It was nice to be recognized and to know that the work I’ve done was being noticed. It’s really nice to go into my senior semester starting things off like that.”

With the women’s soccer team, Fabian shadowed and assisted Courtney Gray, the resident athletic trainer for the women’s soccer and basketball teams. Fabian said that learning on the fly and knowing he can make a difference is what he loved most about the position.

“It was my favorite rotation that I’ve done here at school,” Fabian said. “All the athletes were so receptive to the feedback when I was trying to help them through their injuries or anything they needed. Because it’s kind of an educational program, they were always so understanding and patient if I ever needed help with anything.”

Patrick McKeon, associate professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Athletic Training, nominated Fabian for the scholarship in November 2023. McKeon said Fabian’s ability to connect with his patients and apply what he has learned in the classroom made him the perfect candidate for the award.

“What I really love about him is that I can see that he’s trying to use what he learned to help others,” McKeon said. “He’s always working toward figuring out problems so that he can better serve his athletes — it’s just been so great to watch.”

On top of his work in the clinic, Fabian’s achievements on the field have not gone unnoticed. Fabian made 32 starts in 2023, batting .306 with 37 hits in 121 at bats. He scored 25 runs during the team’s road to its second consecutive conference title.

Head coach David Valesente said that prioritizing academics is a core value of his program, as well as emphasizing open communication, so his athletes are able to better manage their time.

“We understand that our student-athletes are involved in many things outside of our sport and training and time commitment, and we fully support and encourage that,” Valesente said. “The biggest thing to stay on top of that and to excel is to not only communicate with [the coaching staff], but to communicate with professors and academic advisors about how they can balance everything.”

Valesente said Fabian’s education in athletic training has become useful on the field at times, and his knowledge of the human body has allowed him to take care of his own more effectively.

“He actually suffered an injury last year where he was out for a little while and, if it were anyone else, I don’t think the recovery would have been as fast,” Valesente said. “He knew his plan and program — it goes to show that putting his work kind of into real life situations makes Matt pretty unique.”

Fabian said his teammates feel especially comfortable seeking his advice because they know he understands the specific strains that baseball puts on the body. Even while not on the field, Fabian said he is always troubleshooting common motions so that his teammates can get effective treatment when they visit him in the clinic.

“Shoulder injuries are common in baseball, and I’ve had my fair share,” Fabian said. “I’ll experiment with different things — whether it’s pulleys or bands or weights — on myself, and I’ll see how my shoulder responds. Based on that, whether it’s good or bad, I’ll try and implement that into rehab stuff for the guys in the team.”

Even outside of the clinic, Fabian is always looking out for his teammates on and off the field. Senior infielder Ethan Rothstein said that when he was initially cut from the baseball team during his first year, Fabian was the first to be there and support him.

“My freshman year, I got sent to JV,” Rothstein said. “Before this, me and Matt knew each other, but we weren’t best friends. He called me right after it happened and just said, ‘Hey, I want to take you out to dinner and see how you’re feeling.’ That’s just the type of person Matt is. We’ve been close friends ever since.”

Since realizing professional baseball is not in the cards for him, Fabian said he has  focused his time and effort on athletic training in the hopes of having a prosperous career in the profession.

McKeon said the college’s athletic training program looks to leave a stamp on each of its students that highlights dedication and integrity — traits he said Fabian displays each day. For McKeon, being awarded the scholarship is only the beginning of Fabian’s successes in his future career.

“I’m looking forward to seeing his commitment to excellence shine,” McKeon said. “With his professionalism, with his engagement, with his commitment to not only athletic training but also being an athlete, Matt is destined for some really great things.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to THE ITHACAN
$1375
$2000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support The Ithacan's student journalists in their effort to keep the Ithaca College and wider Ithaca community informed. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Tess Ferguson, Former Sports Editor
Aminatta Imrana Jallow, Photographer
Donate to THE ITHACAN
$1375
$2000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Ithacan Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *