As any athlete would agree, being good at your sport doesn’t just happen. Just ask former Forester basketball player Betsey Bean. Whether she was hitting the game-winning free throws against the Famous Tacos as a second grader or netting 23 points against conference rival Bethel College as a senior at HU, it was the hours and hours of practice, commitment, sacrifice and hard work that prepared her for these moments.
Bean transferred to Huntington as a sophomore and made an instant impact as a Forester. As a captain and three-year starter, she earned MCC All-Conference honors as a senior and scored 1,041 career points to join HU’s elite 1,000 point club, a feat only 17 other Foresters can claim.
But it’s what Bean has taken away from the basketball court that has made a difference in her life.
“Playing sports has taught me many life lessons and helped shape me into the person I am today,” Bean said. “Basketball has taught me the importance of being focused and having goals. I’ve learned that having a good attitude is intimately tied to success, teamwork and being an effective leader.”
One glance at her HU transcript and it’s obvious that these life lessons spilled into the classroom. Having earned dean’s list honors each semester, Bean graduated magna cum laude in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science. She was also a two-time NAIA Scholar Athlete and was recognized as the exercise science department’s student of the year.
Upon graduation Bean enrolled in medical school at Des Moines University and accepted a U.S. Army scholarship to pay for medical school in exchange for years of service as a physician. She quickly put into practice the characteristics she learned on the basketball court.
“My involvement in sports has reinforced my ability to remain calm under pressure, stay focused through intense moments and complete a task just as I had trained,” she said.
Seems like perfect skills for a future doctor.
Currently in her fourth year of medical school, Bean spends her time doing one-month rotations at various hospitals and clinics across the country. Since July, Bean has traveled thousands of miles to places such as Texas, Washington, Hawaii and Florida. In March, she will fulfill one of her “bucket list” wishes by rotating at Calcutta Mercy Hospital in Calcutta, India.
As she continues to prepare for her life’s profession, Bean is excited about the next step of the process. She recently matched at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., for her residency in orthopedic surgery.
While Bean will spend plenty of long hours at the hospital during her five years at Madigan, hopefully she can find a few minutes to lace up her Chucks and head down to the outdoor courts on base to show her peers a thing or two about basketball.
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