Sports Medicine Hosts Second Student Ambassador Camp

About 50 high school students who excel in academics and athletics heard valuable advice last month from an array of inspiring UHealth leaders and sports figures at the 2nd Annual Student Ambassador Camp, a day-long seminar designed to nurture leadership skills.

Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who recently departed the team under a cloud for selling memorabilia against NCAA rules, urged the teens from Miami-Dade and Broward counties to make “10-second decisions,” pausing to think about consequences before doing something they’ll regret.

“Be leaders. Do different things. Don’t follow,’’ Pryor, MVP of the 2009 Rose Bowl and 2010 Sugar Bowl, told the rapt audience at the July 29 forum. “Think about what you’re going to do before you do it.’’

Lee Kaplan, M.D., chief of UHealth Sports Medicine, who established the camp following the arrests or deaths of several area athletes, encouraged the students to use sports “not just to make it to the NFL, NBA or Major League Baseball, but … to better yourself.’’

Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., who recalled that injury was his biggest fear as a hockey player, advised the students to safeguard their health by exercising, eating wisely, and avoiding risky behaviors, like smoking.

Coach Tim “Ice” Harris, a national coach of the year who led Miami’s Booker T. Washington High School to a state football championship, implored the students to take control of their destinies and develop their plans for the future now.

Other speakers and panelists included Olympic silver medalist Lauryn Williams; Robert Bailey, of Rosenhaus Sports; sports radio personalities Don Bailey Jr. and Jon Weiner; Cheryl Golden, instructional supervisor, division of athletics and activities, Miami-Dade Public Schools; and, from UM, Vinny Scavo, associate athletic trainer and head football athletic trainer; nutritionist Lisa Dorfman; and David Wyman, associate athletic director for academic services.

The students were invited to the camp, which coincided with the third anniversary of UHealth Sports Medicine, on the recommendation of their school’s athletic director. The hope is that they will share the lessons learned with their classmates, serving as role models, or ambassadors, for wise decision-making.

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