Following a great night at the 2018 NBA Draft with both Lonnie Walker IV and Bruce Walker Jr. being drafted in the first round, Hurricanes Athletics continue to move forward by inspiring those who will lead like the athletes that used to walk through campus. Friday morning, the University hosted Student Leadership Day, a day that brought in several high school students from the local Broward and Miami-Dade County areas to help inspire leadership in their respective communities through newer generations.
The event was originally founded by Lee Kaplan, an orthopedic surgeon in Coral Gables as well as the director of the UHealth Sports Medicine Institute, and started almost a decade ago, according to Sun Sentinel. He started doing the summit when he had two patients who were going through something darker than what student-athletes should go through: one person was arrested for possession of a firearm and the other caught a charge for distribution. Both patients were highly-recruited “D1” Miami athletes, says Kaplan. While one was luckily made it to the NFL, the other continued to follow the path that was laid in front of him based on his decisions. Kaplan didn’t open about who the two people were, according to the post.
The lineup of speakers included not only UM staff like basketball coaches Jim Larranaga and Kate Meier, but the school went deep into their alumni by grabbing former NFL player Twan Russell and then reached out to other sports stars like Jamal Mashburn and Jerome Lorenzo. For a school that is well known in athletics (as well as the many off-field-occurrences that have happened at the U), this seems like one of the many steps to push community leadership through the youth. However, this was also a plus for the U’s development and the many students who could possibly be recruited by the school in the future.