BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Two Southeastern Conference student-athletes represented the SEC at the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum April 9-12 in Orlando, Fla. Arkansas basketball player Moses Kingsley and Georgia golfer Sylvie Brick were the SEC's representatives.
The NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum was created in 1997 and has hosted nearly 5,000 student-athletes since its inception. Student-athletes who attend the forum are taught leadership skills and given the chance to explore the relationship between personal values, core beliefs and behavioral styles. The forum also aims to give attendees a thorough understanding of the NCAA as a whole, the different divisional perspectives and the valuable role of Student-Athlete Advisory Committees. "It was an honor to attend the NCAA Leadership Forum and to represent the SEC," Kingsley said. "Every day we socialize with and meet new people, and this forum taught me a lot of ways to improve and be a better person."
Kingsley is a native of Abuja, Nigeria, and played in each of Arkansas' 36 games in 2014-15. In addition to being named to the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll a year ago, Kingsley is the basketball team's representative on the Arkansas Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and is a membership of the Razorback Leadership Academy. He is highly involved in the basketball community and hopes to use what he learned at the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum to help him pursue his dream to become a coach.
"I learned about leadership and the different ways that I can be a leader in all aspects of life," Kingsley said. "For me, I want to be a basketball coach when I can't play anymore, so the weekend taught me a lot about how to treat people and how to lead by example."
Brick, a native of Frankfort, Ill., has played in six events for Georgia in 2014-15. She is a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and, in 2014, was named to the SEC's Community Service Team for women's golf. She is Vice President of Georgia's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and is also the group's social chair. Brick is majoring in statistics with a minor in computer science and aspires to have a career in the field of sports analytics.
"A big focus of the forum was on personal leadership development which is obviously of paramount importance in all aspects of life, whether it is on the golf course or in a future career," Brick said. "They really stressed how to be the best leader possible. There was also information on the internal structure of the NCAA and on governance issues. There was a lot of information thrown at me but what I most took away from the forum was to never miss an opportunity."
Both Brick and Kingsley realize the important role that student-athletes play in the NCAA process, especially with a new model that grants flexibility to schools in the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12 and Southeastern conferences to change rules for themselves in a list of specific areas within Division I. The legislative process for these 65 schools includes three student-athlete representatives from each conference who will vote on rule changes. Voting on autonomy issues includes 15 student-athletes (three from each of the Five Conferences) who, collectively, will cast votes in greater number than four of the Five Conferences.
"For the first time in NCAA history, the student-athlete voice has real power when it comes to making changes and implementing changes," Brick said. "That is extremely exciting and makes me want to work hard to be a better leader to help improve the entire student-athlete experience. We're in this position as student-athletes where we're always being watched and you need to be a leader 100 percent of the time. There are no days off when it comes to leadership."