BearSportsNews- Sunday Edition

Who knew!!! 😊

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> On Oct 23, 2016, at 10:46 AM, je mURDOCK iii wrote: >
> The InstaGram web attack gave my desktop a shutdown virus; so the necessary research tools are locked up. With only a tablet, the options are limited. The good news is that it is still possible to produce one story. The subject is timely and the person is among the pantheon of all time Bears- as an athlete (anyone who saw his football season will agree to this comment and being a WR was not his primary position), a leader and a fine young man. Many thanks to his Mom for doing an exceptional job of raising Joe. >
> My four years at GW were quite the experience. Made some of my best memories and made some of my best friends there. Looking back now as an alum, there were many parallels from my time at the Landon School to GW that prepared me very well for many of the experiences and adversity I would endeavor. >
> During my first year at the Landon School, one thing my mom always told me was that “your name can go a long way”. As more time went on, I fully started to understand what she meant by that. I had to think to myself that when people spoke of “Joe McDonald”, make sure it’s spoken under a good light, not a bad one. To make sure the adjectives that follow my name are those around being respectful, hard-working, mentally tough, selfless, loving, and caring. Some of those same qualities that being a student at the Landon School has instilled in me as well. >
> The Spiegel family changed my life for the better. When looking to transfer schools in middle school, I played AAU basketball with Allan Spiegel, Landon grad class of ’12, and his mom spoke very highly of Landon. Conversations sparked between his mother and mine, one thing led to another, and I was enrolled at Landon the following year as an 8th grader. I personally wasn’t the most excited to attend Landon. It was an all-boys school, you had to dress up in business attire everyday, and it was so far away from home. It was a lot of changes for me, the culture was just different than what I was use to, but my mom kept telling me to “give it a chance” and that “this is a once and a life time opportunity”, and that it was! >
> Although in 8th grade I had thoughts of transferring to a better league in the WCAC for basketball, my mom and I concluded that staying was the best decision for me.
> Academically, this school prepared me so well for college. When being recruited for college basketball, I qualified for Ivy League schools Princeton and Harvard, something that probably would not have happened to me if I went to a different school. That’s something I was very proud of, to say I got into Princeton and Harvard.
> My mom did a great job of raising me, she always sacrificed so much for my siblings and I, especially as a single-mother, and she put me in the position to be successful by getting me to Landon. >
> Attending Landon definitely built my mental toughness as well.
> Before I was able to drive to school, I had to catch a bus at 5:45am by where I lived to Franconia/Springfield metro station. I would then metro to Bethesda metro station by Landon, and then catch another bus to Landon. If I missed that first bus at 5:45am by where I lived, I was going to be late to school because the next bus didn’t come for another 40 minutes.
> I then would do that all the way back home after school ended. The Spiegel family occasionally let me stay at there house once or twice a week as well to help ease that stressful commute everyday, which was extremely selfless on their part. Landon’s academics were rigorous, especially compared to the public school I attended before-hand. Now, combining the rigorous academics with commuting from Lorton, VA to go to school in Bethesda, MD, playing a sport for your school, and during some seasons a sport for an outside-of-school team, I got a pretty good taste of what being a student-athlete would be like. >
> Over my years at Landon I found myself in leadership roles through sports, but most who know me know I was pretty quiet when it comes to that. I was always one to lead by example, rather than vocally. I was the type to get more excited if my teammates did something well than if I did. Landon sports put me in great positions to exercise being a good team player. One thing I know I’m proud of is that I’ve never been considered a selfish teammate or a bad teammate, I always put the team first and those values definitely carried over to the collegiate level with me. I feel that if you sacrifice for the things you love, whether it be a sport or a person, great things can happen. My sophomore year at GW I played hurt the entire year with a torn labrum in my hip and had the choice of sitting out and getting surgery, but I didn’t and we went to the NCAAs that year and it was one of the best experiences ever!
> I thought more about the team than myself with that decision and was rewarded with one of the best seasons in school history. >
> I have been blessed over my career playing basketball with coaches who were great father-figures for me. Andy Luther, Jon Botti, Jimmy Parker, and Jay Karimah, my coaches at Landon, were all great father-figures for me at my time at Landon. They helped me through difficult times, always lending a helping hand, and pushing me to be better everyday. Still today I speak with them all, and it’s a true blessing to have such great people involved in my life like them. >
> At GWU I majored in Organizational Sciences. This is basically the study of what makes organizations successful, what makes them fail, the role leadership/management plays in the organization, and the different styles of leadership/management and its effectiveness to its organization.
> The concentration of leadership was very attractive to me and is what persuaded me to enhance my knowledge on the subject. As a basketball player, I played the point guard position, a position already considered to be a leader. So, I used this major to also strengthen my ability and confidence to communicate with my teammates and coaches. I was never one to give public speeches or address the team publicly, but as I matured over my years at GW, I found myself more comfortable and confident in my ability to do so. I realized I had more respect from my teammates and coaches than I had thought. Times I think about back in Landon being a star player there, that was the foundation for what was going to come in my college career at GW. So, already being in that position of a leader before helped me learn how to handle it better at the college level. >
> Landon prepared me on all levels of life. Dealing with sports and rigorous academics, being a good leader, conducting myself in a respectful manner, being professional with how I handle certain situations, growing my confidence to speak and voice my opinions, while still be selfless and caring to those around me. As I’ve now graduated from GW. I find myself awaiting the next step in my journey. I have the opportunity to still play professional basketball in December for the Philippines, I’m networking like a young professional in the field of organizational development/consulting and building a stronger resume, while still enjoying my family, loved ones, and friends, as well as time around sports coaching at Landon. I’ve been blessed to have so many options and so much to do. All I can give thanks to is God, my family and friends and those who have supported me, and the wonderful opportunities Landon and GW have given me over the years >
> Recently, I was offered a position on staff at GW. I will be the director of player development there and I’m too thankful for the opportunity. Having the chance to give back to GW, just as I was at Landon is the epitome of my character in the sense of showing gratitude to those who have helped me along the way. I always keep in the back of my mind the words of my mom, that “your name can go a long way”. It’s given me the opportunity to come back to Landon and coach and mentor the young men there. It’s given me the opportunity to come back to GW and give back to the team, the university, and still feel loved and welcomed and well-respected. Connections I’ve made over the years is in part due to the fact that I’ve kept that phrase in the back of my mind, and the fact that I try and conduct myself in the best way possible, leaving positive impressions with those I encounter. I’ve learned we all make mistakes, but owning up and learning from them and striving to be better is such a satisfying feeling and I know over my years at Landon and GW, I’ve had the chance to mature and grow and I look to still do so. Interpersonal interactions happen everyday, and I believe doing the right thing and acting in the right way on a consistent basis is the right thing to do and it pays dividends in the long run. >
> >

Published in: on October 23, 2016 at 11:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

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