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N4A Announces Student-Athletes of the Month for April 2017

April 10, 2017

As student-athlete development professionals who work with many students from all walks of life on a day-to-day basis, often times we encounter extraordinary stories of individuals overcoming extreme adversities. Although the odds may be stacked against them, these individuals have a drive deep inside them to succeed in the face of overwhelming challenges. It is working with these outstanding young people that makes the job of a student-athlete development professional so rewarding.

In an effort to recognize and celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of these individuals, N4A will highlight one or more student-athletes each month for their determination to achieve success regardless of personal, academic and emotional challenges.

For April, N4A is honored to recognize Hunter Knighton (University of Miami) and Kayla Ogle (Barry University).

Knighton entered the University of Miami with grand academic, football, and career goals. However, his ability to pursue these goals was challenged on February, 24, 2014. With heat stroke and a flu that caused his temperature to rise to 109 degrees Fahrenheit, Knighton was rushed to the emergency room, where he fell into a 12-day coma facing life or death circumstances. When he awoke, he found himself 50 pounds lighter, with paralyzed vocal cords, cognitive impairment and difficulty breathing due to tubes in his throat. Because of all of this, Knighton encountered emotional trauma and PTSD. While many feared he would never fully recover, after many months of hard work and perseverance, Knighton returned to the football field for competition on September 9, 2015. In addition to his return on the playing field, he has maintained a 3.3 cumulative GPA in the School of Business. Determination, patience, and newfound appreciation for each day allowed Knighton to overcome life-threatening adversity and continue to pursue his academic, football, and career goals.

As captain of the softball team, Ogle was looking to complete her athletic career with a memorable senior season. Unfortunately, in the first game of the 2015 season, Ogle suffered a gruesome thumb injury which required surgery. As if that wasn’t enough, just a few weeks later, she lost the tip of her middle finger. While she opted for a stem cell program for skin regeneration, she found herself battling emotional distress with the thought of the fact that she may never be able to throw a softball again, thus ending her softball career. After many months of determination and perseverance, and a commitment to recovery and rehabilitation, Ogle completed a successful 2016 softball season and made the Dean’s list for her academic accomplishments.

About N4A: N4A, which has been in existence since 1975, is a diverse educational service and professional non-profit organization. Membership of N4A includes academic support and student services personnel who are committed to enhancing opportunities for academic, athletics and personal success for student-athletes. For more information on N4A, visit www.nfoura.org. N4A is administered by NACDA, now in its 52nd year, administers 17 professional associations, including seven for the separate business units that report directly to the athletics directors. For more information on NACDA, visit www.nacda.com.