This morning I attended a great event at the San Diego Hall of Champions. It was the Letter of Intent Signing Party for HS athletes all across San Diego. The event began at 8am, but many of the excited parents and athletes were there quite early. It was fun to see them wear sweatshirts and hats from the universities they’ll be attending next fall. Today was the first of seven days in which athletes who play basketball, volleyball, swimming, tennis, golf, lacrosse, girls water polo, baseball, softball and wrestling can officially commit to college scholarships. (Lots of golfers in attendance today!)
After a welcome from the Marketing Director, Jesse Lovejoy, our own San Diego Padre, Carlos Quentin took the stage to deliver an inspirational message to the families. Carlos is a San Diego native and played baseball for University High School (now known as Cathedral Catholic High School). He went on to play baseball at Stanford before going pro.
His message was very simple, yet profound. “Continue making the decisions you are already making.” He elaborated that the student athletes have already put in hard work in school, made commitments to their team and sport, and made difficult choices along the way to get to a point where they are signing intent letters for some of the finest universities in America. He warned them that they were joining an elite group of people – for some they will be teammates with Olympians and national champions. He even mentioned that they might feel intimidated by their fellow athletes or the geniuses in their classes. But he encouraged them that if they continue making the tough decisions in the fashion they have to date, that they will be the best, they will be elite and they will continue to pave the path to achieve their dreams.
Carlos is a great example for local athletes to follow. He mentioned that San Diego grows great athletes and smart students. He actually graduated in 3 1/3 years at Stanford. That’s pretty impressive. And as a San Diegan, he’s living his dream playing for the San Diego Padres.
After his motivational speech, each high school was called onto the stage and the student athletes had the opportunity to say their name, sport and what university they will play for and attend. There were local news channels there to interview select athletes and I’m sure we’ll see many on the evening news.
Hats off to the team at the San Diego Hall of Champions. It was a very special day for parents and their students and the moment was made even more special by bringing the community together to celebrate the achievements of San Diego’s high school athletes. Congratulations to all of the families. Well deserved recognition and honors today! I look forward to attending the next signing in February!