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Student Spotlight: Mikey Tsukamoto and Andrew Gong

NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, photo by Patrick Sweeney

Broncos Mikey Tsukamoto and Andrew Gong– both athletic training students– made a great impact at the NCAA tournament hosted by Boise State last March by taking initiative, using the skills they learned in class, and taking responsibility to ensure the event ran smoothly.

Boise State provided a great opportunity for athletic training students at this event. Not only did students get credit for their clinical hours, but they had a hands-on learning experience in their profession, got a rare glimpse into the undertakings at tournaments like these, and networked with others in their field. Tsukamoto and Gong were a critical piece of the event and made a great impression on university staff and tournament coordinators alike.

Marc Paul, assistant athletic director for sports medicine for Boise State Athletics, explained how much work went into hosting the NCAA tournament, such as organizing locker rooms, sponsorships, dental services, emergency responders, medical staff, pharmaceuticals, and more. Tsukamoto and Gong were very active in this process. They met with tournament personnel and Taco Bell Arena Staff early on to get things done efficiently and maintained consistent communication with Paul and others throughout the tournament.

Paul said, “Mikey and Andrew were outstanding. They thought ahead about what teams would need and took the initiative to implement everything. I’d raise a question and they’d tell me, ‘Yeah. We’ve got this.’ It freed me to go do other things… The tournament director thanked me before leaving town and he told me that he never once had to worry about medical. That’s a huge compliment!”

Tsukamoto will be attending the University of Nebraska in the fall, and Gong has one more year at Boise State. “They took advantage of this opportunity, but their education helped them prepare them to excel at it,” Paul said. “They impressed a large number of people in the athletic training world.” The courses that these two students had taken, along with their previous experiences, got them ready to take on such a great leadership role at this tournament.

By taking advantage of this opportunity, these two students were able to make an impact and gain the skills they need for their future career. You can find amazing opportunities like these too. Many academic departments offer internships within your major. You can also check out career center internships, student leadership opportunities, and Work U.

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