It may have taken 13 long years, but NBL star Oscar Forman was pumped to finally throw his cap to the sky on Wednesday and walk away from the University of Wollongong with a bachelor degree in business.
The Illawarra Hawks captain admitted it was a tough road juggling a hectic sporting career with study, but it was his parents’ motivation and support that helped him to persevere.
‘‘My parents have flown over [for the ceremony] ... I guess they probably just want to know if it’s really happening or I’m lying about it,’’ he joked.
Even after a few years off in between, the 33-year-old soldiered on after relocating to Wollongong with the help of the Graduates of League program that assists Australian professional athletes through education.
‘‘They gave me a private tutor when I couldn’t make lectures and tutes, because if I was on the road it would make it hard ... and also being accountable to someone,’’ he said. ‘‘Especially when you’re playing [basketball] and it’s summer that’s the last thing you want to do is uni work.’’
He said it wasn’t common for tertiary studies to go hand in hand with a successful career on the court, as once the pressure’s on ‘‘it’s easy to let go’’.
‘‘A couple of the guys were studying and they were bringing their books on the road, but then everyone else wants to go do something while they’re trying to sit in the hotel studying and it’s really tough,’’ said Forman.
The power forward hopes his career of shooting baskets won’t cease yet, but wants to start getting his hands into business. He’s looking to align himself with a company that has a good correlation to sport, as well as taking on more study while he has the momentum.
‘‘I’m [trying to] get into a masters of teaching, so I can plot away at that, do some business stuff and keep playing as well. I’ll be super, super busy.’’
Training has already got into full swing for the Hawks though Forman doesn’t see that as a problem, admitting he’s more productive when ‘‘flat out’’.
His main concern was to get through the graduation ceremony without embarrassing himself, and enjoying the pleasure and privilege of throwing his cap into the air.
‘‘S**T yeah, I’m throwing everything in the air. This [gown] is going to be returned just covered in mud.
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