Welcome to SZN Opener, CASSIUS’ sports podcast that focuses on the unique journeys of Black athletes in college.
Host Lamar Hurd will have in-depth conversations with these students from around the country from the illustrious Duke University to HBCU powerhouse Alabama State University. This podcast will provide a one-of-a-kind look into these rising stars’ successes, obstacles, communities and futures in their respective sports through audio and visual storytelling.
For the first episode, we have Eastern Michigan University Wide Receiver, Max Reese who sat down with host Lamar Hurd. He talks about the hardships that come with wanting a professional career in football and the added roadblocks that come with pursuing that dream amidst COVID-19. Reese also talks about how his upbringing has influenced the type of player he’s becoming.
Reese explains that one of the major parts of football affected by the pandemic is recruiting, which is already a grueling and draining process.
“You see the pictures, the visits the posts on Instagram. It looks fun but you don’t see the behind-the-scenes. For me, especially with the pandemic, my sophomore year we couldn’t travel or go anywhere because everything was on a Zoom call. Trying to get a grasp on a school is hard because how am I supposed to envision myself being somewhere if I can’t physically see it?” he explained.
“That was up until the end of my junior when we started taking some camps like Florida State where I picked up a few offers. It was physically tiring on my body. In a normal year they’ll take about 22-25 athletes. But from my class, they were only taking about 11-15 because the NCAA said the seniors are getting an extra year, so those scholarships are already being held by the seniors.”
Hurd and Reese also have a candid conversation about the mental maturation of the Black student-athlete and how athletes could excel on and off the field.
Listen to the podcast here on the Urban One podcasts platform or your favorite streaming app.
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