LakePoint, Ga. – In celebration of the 24th annual NCAA National Student-Athlete Day, the ASUN Conference is highlighting two student-athletes from all eight of its member institutions that could be described as "Unsung Heroes" for their programs.
The role of these student-athletes might not be as visible to fans on the field of competition, but their impact on the program and institution inspires & motivates their teammates in other ways. Selected by FGCU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee were Caroline Jordan (Volleyball & Beach Volleyballl) and Parker Hamilton (Baseball).
Caroline Jordan, Volleyball & Beach Volleyball
As a senior, Jordan is presently in the midst of her final season of FGCU Beach Volleyball. The Orlando native has helped lead the Eagles to their best start in program history, as the squad has amassed a record of 11-2 to begin 2017. Jordan was a leader on the indoor squad as well, appearing in all 33 of her team's matches this past season, primarily as a serve specialist. She will finish her career having participated in 119 indoor matches while earning ASUN All-Tournament Honors in 2015. Jordan earned ASUN Beach Volleyball All-Academic Honors in 2014 and will graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.55 as a Marketing major.
"Caroline has been such a huge part of the growth of these two programs [beach and indoor] over the past three years." says FGCU Head Volleyball Coach Matt Botsford. "Aside from the contributions she's made on the court, her impact on our culture and her commitment to the growth of our team has been invaluable. Caroline is a great player, a great teammate and a great representative for FGCU volleyball. She's helped us shape the direction of our program in many ways, and I'm so privileged to have coached her."
Parker Hamilton, Baseball
Hamilton has played the role of an emotional leader in No. 9 FGCU Baseball's most successful year to date. The Eagles' number nine ranking is their highest in program history, as the squad defeated Florida, Florida State and Miami for the first time in program history. Earning a roster spot as a right-handed pitcher, Hamilton has appeared in 13 games over the course of his career with three trips from the pen in 2017. More than his work on the mound however, the redshirt junior has used his hard work ethic and team-first mentality to provide an exemplary leadership role for the Eagles, as explained by teammate Nick Rivera.
"Parker is one of the best teammates I've ever played with." teammate Nick Rivera explains. "He cares so much about the team and the program and will sacrifice whatever it takes for us to succeed. Parker is always the first person out of the dugout to congratulate a teammate and pick them up. He loves the game, and it shows in his attitude day in and day out."
Head Coach Dave Tollett echoes Rivera's sentiments, going on to comment on Hamilton's team role. "Parker is a tremendous teammate and plays a role in our success. He enjoys coming to the ballpark every day, and it really means something to him to put on the Green and Blue. No matter the situation, Parker is engaged in the game. He's the first one out of the dugout to congratulate his teammates, and that kind of attitude goes a long way for our program."