June 7, 2011

By Natalie Dillon

This is a continuation in a series of features about Miami University's brightest student-athletes. Their exceptional academic performance during the recently completed spring semester earned them a spot on the roster of the RedHawks' exclusive Straight A Team. In addition to their rigorous schedules on the athletic fields, each of these individuals earned a perfect 4.0 grade-point average this past semester. Overall, during the 2010-11 academic year, Miami's nearly 500 student-athletes earned an impressive cumulative 3.11 GPA in the classroom.

OXFORD, Ohio--It has been quite a journey for men's basketball forward Sean Mock (Oxford, Ohio/Talawanda), who recently completed his athletic eligibility at Miami. As a walk-on in the program, who redshirted his freshman year, Mock has made an impact on the men's basketball program and the community. After completing his undergraduate degree in December 2010, Mock began his graduate studies as he finished out his final semester as a student-athlete.

In addition to a career that culminated with distinguished team and department awards, Mock also had his best semester in the classroom, sporting a 4.0 GPA for the spring semester.

A five-year member of the RedHawk men's basketball program and a four-time letterwinner, Mock was recently named recipient of the fifth annual Spirit of Miami Award for exceptional enthusiastic commitments to his team. The award is given to student-athletes who demonstrate extraordinary commitment, strive without recognition and achieve humbly for the benefit of the team.

Mock's loyalty to the Miami basketball team started long before he took to the court as a freshman. "Growing up in Oxford, I've always had a love for Miami," he said. He grew up cheering at Miami basketball games and playing at open gyms.

Although his playing time was limited, Mock contributed passionately behind the scenes. "I wasn't going to play a whole lot," he said, "So I knew I would have to make an impact in other ways."

Due to his tireless work ethic and commitment, Mock was named co-captain for his senior year. He is also a two-time winner of the team's Marshall North Award for exemplifying loyalty and sacrificing time, effort and energy for the advancement of the team.

But for Mock, exceptional commitment to those around him reaches far beyond his thirteen teammates. He joined the Big Brothers program this year and has volunteered with students in Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati for about three years. In April, Mock took his volunteer work to a new level and organized a football and basketball camp for students of Rothenberg Elementary School in that area.

Mock, along with senior Dexter Korto, who played for the RedHawk football team, and senior education major, Andre Rudolph, conducted the free, one-week camp for the students during their spring break.

Mock said it was a special experience seeing the camp finally come together after years of thinking about it. "It started off as a simple idea, but we came together and made it happen," he said.

The camp catered to 15 students, each of whom came from low-income families in Over-the Rhine. With donations and help from local residents and businesses, the camp offered breakfast, lunch and a daily speaker. Each participant also received a t-shirt, trophy or medal, and a basketball.

While the camp revolved around basketball and football, Mock, his partners, and guest speakers made a point of emphasizing life outside of sports. Daily guest speakers included basketball assistant coaches Jermaine Henderson and Jason Grunkemeyer, and former RedHawk football player and current employee of the Cincinnati Bengals, Brayden Coombs.

They talked about making good decisions and being leaders. "We told them they can make an impact on helping their neighborhood be a better place," Mock said.

As Mock continues his graduate work at Miami in 2011-12, he said he plans on staying involved helping students in Over-the-Rhine. Though raising money and garnering enough manpower can be difficult, he said if he can, he will hold a camp again next year.