NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk State sophomore pole vaulter Willard Ward is one of two student-athletes within the MEAC who is currently attending the NCAA Career in Sports Forum at the organization’s headquarters in Indianapolis.
The conference began on Thursday and will run through Sunday. Ward is one of more than 200 student-athletes nationwide who was invited to attend the conference. He joined Alexis Marsh from the Coppin State track and field program as the only two from the MEAC to attend.
One of more than 20 annual programs and resources organized and directed by the NCAA leadership development department, the Career in Sports Forum provides college athletes with a broader scope of the career tracks available within the sports business, with the primary focus on college athletics. The forum provides student-athletes interactive experiences with successful individuals in the sports business and a peek into their day-to-day duties and responsibilities.
Forum attendees will hear from keynote speakers and panelists, highlighted by NCAA president Mark Emmert, Great Lakes Valley Conference commissioner Jim Naumovich and Ole Miss Director of Athletics Ross Bjork. The participants also learn best practices for gaining employment and gathering a better understanding of what future expectations will be once they get a job in sports.
After redshirting in 2013-14 during his true sophomore year, Ward competed this past season for the Spartans in the pole vault. He set a personal best with a leap of 14-02 feet at the Morgan State Legacy meet in April. In his freshman season in 2012-13, Ward placed fourth at the MEAC indoor meet and third at the outdoor championship. Off the track, he was named to the MEAC All-Academic Team the last two years.
Participants who expressed an interest in pursuing a career in sports, and who were viewed as leaders on their campus, were invited to apply to attend the forum after a nomination by athletics administrators at their respective schools. Many current and past attendees are members of their Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the student-athlete voice within the NCAA governance structure. Ward is a current member of the NSU SAAC.
Originally published on NSUSpartans.com and used with permission.