Megan Ormiston the true definition of ‘student athlete’

Published: Feb. 4, 2023 at 8:03 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Ask just about any student athlete at the University of Nevada and they’ll tell you they don’t have a lot of free time.

Between weights, practices, traveling, games, and classwork, their plates are full.

But not all workloads and schedules are created equal.

For Wolf Pack women’s basketball player Megan Ormiston the ‘student’ comes first in the label ‘student athlete’ for a reason.

“She comes in straight from class, puts her basketball shoes on, does an hour or an hour and a half and then she has to run out the door and go back to class or go meet with clients,” said Wolf Pack Head Coach Amanda Levens on Ormiston.

Ormiston not only starts for the basketball team, but she’s also in exclusive company pursuing her M.S. in speech-language pathology. It’s a field where graduates assess and treat people who have trouble speaking for a number of different reasons.

“I’m the first student athlete they’ve had in 30 years in this (master’s) program,” Ormiston said.

Her coach could not be happier she’s been able to balance athletics and school.

“She’s been a great leader and someone we can count on. Her post presence has been really important to our team this year,” said Levens.

Hoopers use communication to organize a defensive set, or call out an offensive play. On the court, that works. Ormiston has goals beyond basketball. She sees herself in a children’s hospital coaching stroke patients and those with traumatic brain injuries back to their usual selves.

“Communication is so important in this world,” she said of why this degree interests her. “To give that to someone who had that taken from them medically or in an accident, I think that’s really important.”

In Levens’ program players are expected to be engaged with the team six days during the week during conference play. The workload is essentially a part-time job. While balancing work and athletics is still a challenge Ormiston uses basketball as an escape from the stresses of academia.

“It’s cool that I can set an example for the younger kids that we can do more things than what basketball allows us. We can use basketball to get us to a career that we’re really passionate about,” she said.

Whatever Ormiston is doing, it’s working. She’s set to graduate with her advanced degree in the spring, and her six points and six rebounds helped Nevada beat Utah State 68-63 Saturday afternoon.