By Jessica Lyons
The athletes below show that life doesn't have to be a choice between athletic abilities and academics. They set important examples for young students, showing that it's possible to do well on the field and in the classroom.
Major League Baseball pitcher Craig Breslow is a graduate of the prestigious Yale University, where he studied biochemistry and molecular biophysics. He graduated with a 3.5 GPA and was accepted into medical school at New York University. Breslow was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002 and now plays for the Oakland Athletics.
Drafted to the NFL's Tennessee Titans in 2010, Myron Rolle may not be what people typically think of as a football player. He earned his bachelor's degree in exercise science from Florida State University in two and a half years with a GPA of 3.75. He was also selected as Rhodes Scholar and chose to put his football career aside for a year in order to study at Oxford University. Rolle has aspirations of being a neurosurgeon.
Basketball player Bill Bradley, who formerly played for the New York Knicks, was also once selected as a Rhodes Scholar while attending Princeton University. He won an Olympic gold medal as part of the U.S. basketball team in 1964 and also won NBA and Euroleague championships as a professional athlete. He eventually became a U.S. Senator.
Dr. Jenny Thompson
As a swimmer, Jenny Thompson has many credits to her name, including winning a total of 12 Olympic medals, eight of which were gold. But she also has an impressive academic resume, including graduating from Stanford in 1995 with an undergraduate degree in human biology. She then went on to study at Columbia and earned a medical degree in 2006.
A pitcher for the New York Yankees who is now retired from professional sports, Mike Mussina was reportedly very close to being his high school's valedictorian. He went on to study at Stanford University, earning a degree in economics in just three years.
Check out Education Insider's interview with student-athlete Sam Acho.