Maryville University in St. Louis, MO
Memphis, TN with two fellow St. George’s graduates, Drew Schneider '10 and Rob Hyde '10
I took the year off to pursue my dream of playing professional basketball. I was given an opportunity with a team in Mississauga, Ontario; though this didn't work out, I had other opportunities with other teams. However, the experience in Mississauga helped me realize that I was more interested in pursuing my law career. I am currently working at Farris-Bobango PLC gaining experience in the world of corporate law. I plan to attend law school in the fall of 2015. I am also an assistant men's basketball coach for our Gryphons.
I am probably better known in the St. George’s community for my affinity for a debate more so than my basketball skills. You all know my mother [Asa's mother, Yolanda Toney, previously taught upper school English at SGIS], so I was well aware there would be life after sports. As far as coaching at St. George’s, I definitely did not see that in the cards. I have kept in contact with Coach Ruffin over the years and we actually attend the same church. This past summer I made a joke about coming back to coach to his wife Karin and she said,”Don’t even joke about that because Jeff would love to have you.” Next thing I know I’m making kids run ladders. I never thought in a million years that I would come back to coach but it has been a very rewarding experience.
One major way St. George’s prepared me for college, my career, and life was with time management. When I was in high school our schedule was always very flexible, with free periods built in as well as various flex periods. It was an advantage that we were not always going from class to class, but instead there was time built into our schedules when we could do homework, study, or just simply relax during the school day. As a student-athlete in college using your time wisely is everything. With classes, games, at home and on the road, practices, study tables, and social activities it is easy to be overwhelmed but St. George’s definitely prepared me to handle it all.
I know my old teammates are going to read this so I can’t just pick one specific event or someone is going to give me a hard time. My favorite memory is definitely the time spent on and off the court with all of my high school teammates. I was very fortunate to be a part of a program that did some amazing things in a city loaded with talented basketball players. My junior year our team had a saying; "Love, Passion, and Brotherhood” and that epitomizes my feelings toward the program.
I wish I could say my mother’s class but she kicked me out most of the time so sadly I didn’t get the love and nurturing feel she gave to the majority of her students. Mrs. Philpott is the teacher who had the greatest impact on me, because she made me work extremely hard. The way she set up the course was absolutely phenomenal. I will never forget when she told us we had to start coming to school at 6 a.m. to review and it was not optional, I thought she was kidding! History was my minor for a year and a half in college before I switched to business administration, and every class was easy because of the study habits I developed in Mrs. Philpott’s class.
I would advise all young alumni to make an effort to stay involved with the school in any capacity they can. While coaching the basketball team this year I know how much our players appreciate seeing alumni in the stands supporting them. To St. George’s students, just enjoy it while it lasts. I remember it like it was yesterday, aching to be on my own and looking forward to college, that time will come soon enough, trust me. Take every opportunity you can to make memories with your classmates. You aren’t too cool to dress up for spirit week, but just have an explanation ready for the friends you make in college when they find them on Facebook.
I can't imagine what more a family could want for their child than what St. George's can offer. St. George's focuses on the whole person. I got to do all the things I enjoy, and I even tried things I would never have tried if I hadn't attended St. George's. For instance, I recently stood on a mountain top after hiking up there with friends (also graduates of St. George's) and if you know me at all, you know I chose to play basketball because it was indoors. It may sound cliché but St. George's broadens your horizon, because it's a safe place to try new things. As far as education goes, St. George's instructors are by far some of the best. As I said earlier, college was not as difficult for me as it was for some of my peers. So to a prospective family, I would say there is no better investment you can make in your child's future than to choose St. George's.