Not everyone is cut out to be a health care worker. Doctors, nurses, therapists, and other frontline health care workers have risked their lives and well-being as they continue the fight against COVID-19. They are husbands. They are wives. They are fathers. They are mothers. And, in some rare cases, they are student-athletes.
Macy King, a 2017 Redbank Valley graduate, has worked in nursing homes to care for the elderly during breaks in school throughout the pandemic as she juggles being student-athlete, a doctorate student, and a frontline worker.
She has been able to successfully balance all of this while studying for a doctorate in occupational therapy at a brand new institution.
King attended Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pennsylvania, for three years and played volleyball for three seasons and basketball for two. She was recruited primarily in volleyball, but the Mount Aloysius College women’s basketball coaches knew she could also make a difference on the basketball court for them.
“I chose Mount Aloysius because the school was in a great area, but also was a small school,” said King. “The atmosphere there was similar to Redbank Valley.”
Initially, Macy planned to major in physical therapy and become a member of the Mount Aloysius “four plus three” program designed for students who want to obtain a doctorate in physical therapy.
However, job shadowing lead her in a different direction, and she decided to pursue occupational therapy instead. This decision meant potentially accelerating her education by a full year in the three-plus three doctorate of occupational therapy degree. Students on this track spend three years at Mount Aloysius and three years at Chatham University.
In August, King began a new chapter in her life at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, where she will continue her volleyball career. However, the Presidents Athletic Conference has delayed volleyball till the spring semester.
King has embraced the chance to continue her career despite starting new educational opportunities and a new city. Even with several new opportunities and changes this year, she mentioned being thankful to be a part of the Chatham Cougars volleyball program.
King brings more leadership to the Cougars program and consistency at the middle hitter position. In three college seasons, she has collected 404 kills and improved her numbers each season. If her career is indeed over, she has collected many noteworthy achievements in her time as an athlete.
She was a key member of the Redbank Lady Bulldogs 2016 District 9 title in addition to being named to the first team all-KSAC and first-team all-District 9. She also won three letters in basketball and two in track and field. King also was a part of three college teams at Mount Aloysius who qualified for the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) tournament. In two seasons of college basketball, she scored 114 points and grabbed 192 rebounds. It is a great achievement especially when factoring in she took almost two years off from the sport of basketball.
Most impressively, King has remained a great student through it all. She was a member of the National Honor Society in high school and has maintained excellent grades. She was named to Chi Alpha Sigma Athletic Honors Society at Mount Aloysius for maintaining a 3.5 GPA while being a student-athlete. Despite this, the pandemic and upper-level classes have changed things a little bit as far as education is concerned.
“This first semester at Chatham has been challenging,” said King. “It is hard to learn science-related material all remote or in a hybrid format.”
“Looking back, I am really proud of what I have accomplished. I am most proud of what I have accomplished as a student. That means the most to me because I kept a good balance playing multiple sports over the years.”
Two people who have supported her through all endeavors are her parents Annette and Todd.
“They took me to so many games, practices, and tournaments over the years,” said King. “They are so supportive and showed me how to be appreciative of the opportunities I’ve had.”
While 2020 was filled with many adjustments and challenges for King, hopefully 2021 provides more stability to her in all aspects of life. She has one final run at being a college athlete this spring before officially completely focusing on her professional career and her studies. Her sacrifices during a pandemic, along with the sacrifices of all frontline workers is making a true difference as we continue to fight COVID-19. Many would focus on school and sports and not continue working during college, but not all people are Macy King.